Suffolk MP: Delphi factory sale could help reduce impact of coronavirus on Sudbury’s economy
- Credit: Gregg Brown
A Suffolk MP is hopeful that the Delphi factory being sold to an industrial and commercial developer could help reduce the impact of coronavirus on Sudbury’s economy, while also being a “catalyst for future development”.
South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge said the huge factory off Newton Road has been sold to a buyer with a history of developing sites for commercial purposes – offering hope that the site will not be turned into housing.
He said he hopes this is a “positive catalyst for future development” in Sudbury, but doesn’t know much detail about the buyers at this stage.
MORE: New buyer found for Delphi factory in SudburyMr Cartlidge said Delphi – which employed more than 200 members of staff – confirmed the factory has been sold to buyers who have a track record of commercial developments.
He said: “All of this is cautious of course, and is just initial indication, but I am inviting the developers to come to the Taskforce board where hopefully we can find out more.
He added: “I don’t really know too much detail to pass exhaustive judgement, but it is positive the site has been sold and they appear to be industrial commercial developers.
“This suggests their priority is to re-let or redevelop into viable commercial sites, the key point being that they will be used for employment and the site won’t be derelict for months.”
The nine-hectare Delphi site produced fuel injectors and commercial filters for commercial vehicles, but the American-owned conglomerate, is moving the manufacturing operation to Romania and the site was due to close for good this year.
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In April, it emerged that the firm would bring forward planned redundancies due to Covid-19, meaning few staff were still on site.
MORE: Factory staff have redundancies brought forward over coronavirusMr Cartlidge said the sale of the Delphi site is vital in the current climate as “new investment into the town will reduce the impact of coronavirus on the local economy”.
He said: “It is inevitable that no matter what the government does there will be a spike in unemployment both nationally and locally due to coronavirus.
“Families could suffer from a drop in income as a result of unemployment, which could affect many aspects of people’s lives such as their mental health.
“Delphi had a long track record of giving local people good quality employment for life and many constituents are fully supportive of the site remaining as commercial use.”
He added: “Jobs will be gone within a few days so it is a priority that we create more local employment.”
Previously, negotiations with developers Charterhouse Property Group – who hoped to turn the site into housing – fell through leading Delphi to say that it would “engage other bidders on the reserve list”.
Mr Cartlidge said he would like to see companies that offer good quality employment for local people like Delphi has done for many years – adding the site has been “so important for the town’s economy”.