Stoke & Staffordshire

Kidsgrove General Electric closure hits 230 jobs

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Image caption The firm said in May it was consulting with unions about possibly closing the site

A General Electric site is set to close with the loss of more than 230 jobs.

The firm said production capacity at its Kidsgrove facility in Staffordshire outweighed demand and would be closing by the end of March.

Some workers may be able to move to other locations, a spokesman said.

Unite said it suspected the firm wants to move work to Berlin, something the firm has denied. The union said it had "serious questions" about the closure of a "profitable" site.

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"This news is a cruel blow for these dedicated workers and will have an adverse impact on the local economy and the wider supply chain," said regional officer, Zoe Mayou.

"We don't think that the management has explained in a coherent fashion why this plant needs to close next spring, with production ceasing in December."

'Heartbreaking'

Drives and converters to produce electricity are made at the plant. The company confirmed 232 jobs would be affected.

The union will meet workers on Thursday to discuss the next steps.

In a statement, the firm said: "We are committed to our customers and are working to ensure there will be no disruption to production deliveries and service support now and in the future.

"Employees are the heart of our business, and we recognize this is difficult for our workers and their families."

Staff will begin leaving from 28 October until March.

Kidsgrove MP Ruth Smeeth said she was "disappointed" by the "heartbreaking" news and would work with Staffordshire and Newcastle councils to bring a new employer to the site.

General Electric employs around 22,000 people in the UK at 60 sites.

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