Page last updated at 11:56 GMT, Thursday, 19 March 2009

63 jobs go as timber firm shuts

Omagh town centre
Omagh-based firm Woodlock Joinery closed this week.

63 jobs are to go in Omagh after timber firm Woodlock Joinery ceased trading.

The company manufactured window frames, doors, conservatories and staircases, but had been experiencing "difficult trading conditions" in recent months.

In a statement, Woodlock said it had taken the decision to close "with deep regret".

The president of Omagh Chamber of Commerce, Marcus Isherwood, said to lose a 40-year-old firm was a "real indicator of the state of the economy".

"Woodlock Joinery was established in 1962, and it was a respectable company owned by respectable businesspeople who in recent years have invested heavily in the most up-to-date technology," said Mr Isherwood.

"We now have 63 highly-skilled, specialised employees who are looking for work, but in the current economic climate the choices for people are limited.

"The government agencies need to be hands-on and offer retraining opportunities, and people need to grasp them."

DUP councillor Clive McFarland said it was a "blow" for the town.

'Worrying time'

"Woodlock was a very well-known company and it has been very successful for certainly as long as I remember.

"It's a blow for the economy in Omagh and also for the 63 families who are now very concerned about how they're going to pay their bills.

"It's not a huge town, it was a well-established company, and it certainly is worrying," he said.

Woodlock Joinery said its directors had been working with professional advisors to address the company's financial difficulties and had explored all options for restructuring the company but a viable alternative could not be found.

In a statement to staff, the company said its directors wanted "to pay tribute to the skills and dedication of all employees who have, down through the years, demonstrated commitment and professionalism throughout their employment.

It also said it would like to put on record "the loyalty and hard work of all its employees, many of whom have been with the company for over 30 years".



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