Smart meter manufacturer to axe 150 jobs

WORKERS at a Suffolk factory have been told its manufacturing operation is moving abroad, with the loss of around 150 jobs.

Shop floor staff at Itron Metering Solutions UK in Felixstowe were called to meetings yesterday morning to be told the news, part of a worldwide restructuring to save 30m US dollars a year.

They were told the company, the world’s largest supplier of smart meters, would be moving its manufacturing operations to eastern Europe by next March.

Research and development operations would remain at the Felixstowe site, leaving it with around 150 staff.

American-owned Itron took over the factory in Carr Road about two years ago.

Last year it spent �2.3million on improvements to the site and also took over new offices at Brightwell Court, Martlesham Heath, this year because the Felixstowe premises were filled to capacity.

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey and MP Alan Whitehead, chairman of the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group, were shown the investment in the premises, and managers said they were keen to work with the Government to achieve the 2016 smart meter roll out target, with the Felixstowe factory playing a key role.

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Itron said in a statement that it aimed “to restructure its manufacturing operations to increase efficiency and lower manufacturing costs”.