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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 June 2006, 18:23 GMT 19:23 UK
Laura Ashley to make 43 redundant
Laura Ashley
Laura Ashley announced the closure of its former HQ in Carno in 2004
Furniture and clothing chain Laura Ashley is to make about 40 workers redundant at its factory in mid Wales.

Printing and dyeing textiles will be done overseas, leaving about 190 staff at its Texplan base in Newtown.

The firm, which made mid Wales its base in the early 1960s, said it was regrettable, but the work was no longer "commercially viable" in the UK.

The firm told staff about its decision on Monday, and has entered into a 30-day consultation period.

A company spokesman said: "Regrettably, as a result of the proposal to discontinue the printing and dyeing of textiles undertaken at Newtown, approximately 43 redundancies are proposed and, from today, the company will enter into a 30-day consultation period with those employees potentially affected by the proposed redundancies.

"All proposals with regard to redundancy will remain provisional until such time as consultation with the affected employees is complete."

The spokesman said due to the high cost of manufacturing the textiles in the UK, it would now source that part of its business overseas.

He added that Texplan Manufacturing Ltd, part of the Laura Ashley group, had been undergoing a strategic review and restructuring of its operations in mid Wales.

Conservative Mid and West Wales AM Glyn Davies said he would not criticise the company "for taking inevitable business decisions" but called it "another dark day for the mid Wales economy".

"It is particularly disappointing for those of us who were involved in the growth of Laura Ashley and the great boost it gave to the renewal of mid Wales which occurred through the 80s and 90s," he said.

Liberal Democrat Montgomeryshire MP Lembit Opik , who will talk to staff and management next week, said: "Everyone has the right to know what's going on and what the chances of re-employment will be.

"They (the affected staff) can be assured that I'm determined to do my best for them and to make sure that the company does the same," said Mr Opik.

Newtown deputy mayor Sue Lawson said: "Too many companies are now choosing to make people redundant because it's not cost-effective to keep people employed in this country ," she said.

"Laura Ashley started in this area and I want it to stay in this area."

In 2004, Laura Ashley announced the closure of its former headquarters in Carno, near Newtown, and staff were moved to Texplan.




SEE ALSO
Laura Ashley cuts 90 jobs
14 Sep 04 |  Wales
Store fined over flammable fabric
07 Sep 04 |  Gloucestershire
Laura Ashley moves back to profit
22 Apr 04 |  Business

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