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Battle against factory closure
11:34am Thursday 28th February 2013 in News
PEOPLE in Shipston are fighting back against proposals to close the town’s largest employer.
G E Power & Water announced last month it is considering shutting down Turbine Blading Ltd, in Station Road, which has been the town’s biggest employer since the Norgren factory shut in 2008.
District and town councillors and members of Stour United Businesses are meeting three senior managers at the company tomorrow to discuss the proposed closure, which would result in the loss of 64 local jobs.
Councillor Jeff Kenner, Shipston ward councillor at Stratford District Council, said it was an important meeting for the community and the workforce.
“We want to get across to them the whole town is determined to fight the closure,”
he said. “It’s really something that unites the town.
“Most people know someone who has worked there, or works there, and their families, and we understand how much pressure it’s going to put on them. “We want to make them understand what a devastating blow it is for the town. If there’s going to be a closure we want to look at the time scale and see if it’s going to be extended.”
Coun Richard Cheney, fellow Shipston ward councillor, said he wanted the firm to reconsider its plans.
“I feel that it is important that we keep employment sites open in South Warwickshire,”
he said. “Manufacturing should be playing a very important part in local employment.”
Tina Cook, chairman of Stour United Businesses, said members were “deeply concerned” by the loss of any business in the Stour Valley, particularly one as significant as Turbine Blading.
“We will be looking to do all we can to try and influence the continuation of operations there, especially where it remains a viable business,” she said.
G E Power & Water acquired Turbine Blading in 1998. The factory re-engineers, manufactures and repairs turbine blades which are used in electricity power stations.