Wren Kitchens defiant over calls to close Barton factory

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Wren signImage source, John Keeble/Getty Images
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Some Wren factory workers have voiced concerns about staying open during the coronavirus lockdown

A kitchen firm employing hundreds of workers says it is staying open because its customers would otherwise be left without cooking facilities.

Wren Kitchens, which operates out of Barton-upon-Humber, said it would not "let its customers down under any circumstances".

It comes after some workers voiced concerns about keeping the factory open during the coronavirus lockdown.

The firm said it was following all government guidelines.

"We have already closed all of our showrooms across the UK," a spokesperson said.

"However, the latest restrictions do not apply to the manufacturing operations of any business including our own and that is for good reason."

"We have thousands of customers who already removed their old kitchen in preparation for the delivery of their new one.

"It is absolutely essential that we supply these customers as promptly as possible at a time like this."

The firm said people no longer have access to restaurants and cafes, and with children off school people needed somewhere to store and cook food.

Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers said he had received assurances from senior managers at Wren after he was contacted by several workers at the factory who were worried about being able to keep a safe distance from colleagues.

On Monday, the government said to only go to work if "absolutely necessary".

But earlier, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said those who cannot work from home should go to work "to keep the country running".

He said the government would be publishing guidance to explain the steps employers should take to keep employees safe "including making sure there is a 2m gap between workers where possible."