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Brick companies close more plants

Brick production in the UK is set to drop to its lowest levels since the 1940s, with Ibstock and Wienerberger the latest companies to announce that they are closing plants and axing jobs.

Brick companies close more plants

Construction Products Association have predicted that fewer than 2bn bricks will be made in 2008, the lowest number for over 60 years. For the past two years, the figures have stood at 2.4 billion.

The UK’s biggest brick manufacturers, Ibstock, are to close factories at Roughdales in Merseyside and Funton in Kent and will mothball the Ellistown, Leicestershire, operation.

Wienerberger, the UK’s third largest brick-maker, are also cutting back: 71 jobs face the axe at their Kidderminster plant, with a further 27 under threat at Eldon in County Durham.

Further shutdowns of plants are expected between Christmas and February. The company had already mothballed sites in Devon and Surrey earlier this year.

Pat Furr, operations director of Wienerberger UK, said the company could not rule out further closures. The collapse of the housing market is directly to blame for the closures, he said.

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About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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