Manufacturing company consults on closure of Highland facility

Hambleside Danelaw's facility at Dalcross
Hambleside Danelaw's facility at Dalcross

Staff at a roofing products manufacturer near Inverness have been told their jobs are risk.

Hambleside Danelaw have started consulting staff on the possible closure of their factory at Dalcross, blaming economic uncertainty around Brexit for having to cut costs.

Some of the 30 staff members will be offered positions at the company’s other site in the Northamptonshire town of Daventry – but the firm has not ruled out the possibility of compulsory redundancies.

It will bring 40 years of manufacturing by the company on the site to an end if the closure goes ahead.

Production is likely to end in the spring or early summer.

The company has invested in new machinery and has expanded production at Daventry since 2014.

The business says it expected to be able to continue with both plants but said the decision to leave the EU and renewed uncertainty over the future of Scotland within the UK, coupled with an urgent need to cut costs have combined to prompt the closure warning.

They say the EU referendum has led to rising costs for raw materials paid for in either dollars or euros.

At Dalcross the company manufactures rooflights mainly for the non-housing construction sector and it is this part of the sector where the future outlook is cause for major concern.

Hambleside Danelaw managing director Chris Avery said: “Having been part of the Highland community for so long and benefited from a productive workforce here, it is with great sadness that we have started consulting on the company’s future at Dalcross. Unfortunately factors outside our control have played a significant part in taking this course of action.

“The proposed transfer of the Dalcross production operation is intended to reduce risk in uncertain times, improve business efficiency and enhance the company’s ability to remain competitive in the construction market.”

The staff consultation is expected to conclude by the end of April, with letters being sent to employees in both English and Polish.

Employees will be encouraged to apply for vacancies at the expanding facility in Daventry and financial assistance will be provided for staff moving south of the border.

The company said it will do all that it can to avoid compulsory redundancies and minimise the numbers of people affected.