Axe to fall on 146 staff

TEXTILE bosses have announced the closure of John Holdsworth's factory at Shaw Lodge Mills, Halifax, with the loss of 146 jobs.

The specialist fabric maker was taken over in November by the Camira Group, of Mirfield, in the hope that a cash injection might safeguard its future. But workers were told yesterday that it was the end of the line.

The bombshell was dropped on the majority of the workforce at 2pm when shifts were due to change.

One woman, who worked at the company for 25 years, was in tears. She said: "We had work and some were working 49-hour weeks."

Halifax Labour MP Linda Riordan, who moved her constituency office to the factory office at Shaw Lodge Mills last month, said it was the end of an era and a very sad day for the town. She added: "Holdsworth's has been a part of Halifax for so long. My father used to work at the factory and I used to come here for Christmas parties.

"I know they have struggled with competition from the global market and managers, workers and unions did what they could to keep going but it wasn't to be."

The directors said: "Since the current management bought the company, they and staff have fought valiantly.

"But trading has been extremely difficult due to a highly competitive and aggressive market place. The workforce and management have tried their best to save the company."

Directors said they had sustained significant losses in an attempt to return to profitability.

Now the company has been put into liquidation and the 146 staff made redundant.

The closure comes just days after planners gave permission for an 80 million urban village at Shaw Lodge Mills.

"These plans will ultimately create 750 jobs," said MD John Hanson.