Page last updated at 16:03 GMT, Thursday, 16 July 2009 17:03 UK

Pen factory closure plan revealed

Parker Pen facility in Newhaven
Work will shift to the firm's factory in Nantes, France

Plans to close the Parker Pen factory in East Sussex, resulting in the loss of up to 180 jobs, have been revealed.

Newell Rubbermaid said it had started a consultation on the closure of the site in Newhaven following a review of its fine writing business.

Local Norman Baker MP said it would be a "bitter blow" for the town and urged the firm to reconsider its decision.

If the proposal goes ahead the factory, which has been open since the 1940s, will shut by the autumn of 2010.

Newell Rubbermaid said work that was carried out in Newhaven would be shifted to its site in Nantes, France.

'Terrible day'

The firm said its Fradley Park site in Lichfield, Staffordshire, would remain open and it expected to continue to employ about 350 people in the UK.

Mr Baker, who is MP for Newhaven, said: "This is a terrible day for Newhaven, and particularly of course for the employees of Parker Pen and their families.

"I am writing to the management of the company to ask them urgently to reconsider their decision but, to be honest, I don't hold out much hope.

"I will also be writing to the government, asking them to ensure a package of support is now provided for Newhaven."

He added: "Parker Pen has for many years been the flagship employer in Newhaven, and this is a bitter blow for the town which is already much worse hit by the recession than other towns nearby. It is also the end of an era."

'Staff support'

Andy Smith, director of manufacturing at Parker Pen, said: "This proposal has been a difficult one to make and we realise the potential impact on our employees, their families and the local community.

"We wanted to tell our employees about this now, nearly a year in advance, so that we can fully consult on the proposals and if necessary they can make the transition to new employment."

He added: "I want to reassure all our employees that during the forthcoming period the company will ensure that they will be treated with the utmost respect.

"Should the proposals be confirmed, staff will receive terms that generally exceed statutory requirements, plus access to support including an outplacement program to assist in identifying alternative employment."



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Pen company celebrates 120th year
23 Sep 08 |  Sussex
Pen maker announces 200 job cuts
30 Nov 07 |  Sussex

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific