Job losses confirmed as Newmarket factory to close

Red Fall Arrow Interest Percent Symbol. Financial Business Concept

Red Fall Arrow Interest Percent Symbol. Financial Business Concept - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Around 60 jobs will be lost in Newmarket after an international company announced it was pulling out of the town.

Matt Hancock MP (right) visited GE Aviation in November 2014

Matt Hancock MP (right) visited GE Aviation in November 2014 - Credit: Archant

GE Aviation Systems is closing its Exning Road factory in the next year, resulting in the loss of around 60 jobs.

The news was labelled “devastating” yesterday, with support pledged from all sides to help those now facing redundancy.

The factory originally opened as the Newmarket Transistor Development Company in the 1950s. Nowadays, GE Aviation is part of American multinational corporation General Electric.

The Newmarket factory has been a leading supplier of high-reliability electronics and displays for aerospace, military, transport, telecommunications, computer, medical and industrial applications.

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“This is devastating news both for the area and for the people involved,” said James Waters, leader of Forest Heath District Council.

“We will be speaking with GE Aviation to see what support we can provide to assist the staff during the phased closure of the site.”

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A spokeswoman from the company said yesterday the company regularly reviewed its business portfolio, making appropriate adjustments to reflect economic and market conditions.

“As part of regular business reviews, GE Aviation has been evaluating ways to run the Newmarket operations more efficiently due to challenges in the market and in declining business conditions,” she said.

The company revealed employees were notified last October the company was entering into formal consultation on “the proposed discontinuation of production and subsequent closure of the site”.

The spokeswoman added: “Following the conclusion of consultation in December 2015, the company can confirm that it has taken the decision to implement the proposal to discontinue production and subsequently close the Newmarket facility which has about 60 employees. This will be a phased closure taking place over the next 12 months.

“GE Aviation regrets the loss of any job. We are providing ongoing support to employees including career services and guidance.”

Newmarket’s MP Matt Hancock said his main concern was helping those who faced losing their jobs. “There’s been a long-standing association with GE Aviation in Newmarket and my concern is to ensure that everybody who works there gets the support that they need,” he said. “We’re fortunate unemployment is low in Newmarket and jobs are available. I will do all that I can to support people at this time.”

The GE Aviation news comes just days after another Newmarket employer also announced it was leaving town.

Manufacturing firm Dialight, also based in Exning Road, announced last week it intended to close its Newmarket premises, which is believed to have put more than 100 jobs at risk.

Mr Hancock said it was important for any town to have a diverse range of employers, adding he was sure Newmarket would bounce back. He highlighted the fact Newmarket-based Hastings Direct announced in recent days it was expanding, adding it was important to look at the overall picture.

“The key thing is to make sure there’s support on the ground for people who face losing their jobs,” he said.

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