British bicycle gear factory closes axing 300 jobs

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A key piece of British bicycle history is to be lost with the announcement yesterday that a gear-making firm is to close.

A key piece of British bicycle history is to be lost with the announcement yesterday that a gear-making firm is to close.

Three hundred workers at Sturmey Archer in Nottingham were told the closure was taking effect immediately.

The company, once part of the Raleigh group, which has also suffered big job losses, has been on the same site in Triumph Road, Radford, for 98 years. Bosses said they were trying to find a new buyer, but blamed the announcement on the failure of the parent company, Lenark, to relocate them to a new site.

One long-serving employee, who was told he would lose his job yesterday, said: "The whole workforce is devastated. It is terrible. I have worked here for 42 years and couldn't believe it when we were called into this meeting and told our jobs had gone. The firm says it could no longer afford to pay our wages and asked us all to leave the premises immediately."

Colin Bateman, the company's managing director, said: "This is a sad day for bicycle manufacturing in Nottingham, not to mention for all the staff that work here. We feel very let down. It is a devastating blow."

A skeleton staff only will work from Monday on a voluntary basis to complete final orders.

Raleigh, the most famous British marque, still employs 1,000 staff, turning out 500,000 bicycles a year at its Nottingham factory.

But last year it shut its specialist frame-making plant, switching production overseas and selling off the manufacturing tools. In its heyday, Raleigh employed 7,000 people.

Comments