Bathroom manufacturer Twyford Bathrooms confirmed last week that its Alsager factory will definitely close.
Earlier this year, the company said it was formally starting consultations with unions and affected employees about the possible closure, although it insisted at the time that the final decision to close had not been taken.
The factory will close, however, the head office functions will remain at Alsager.
Twyford is part of European bathroom group Sanitec. Mike Conlon, Twyford Bathrooms’ senior vice president told industry publication kbb Review that the decision was driven purely by the economic environment.
“If you take 2007 as a starting point, the European market has dropped 19% in terms of volume, and Sanitec is a big European player. The decline that the UK market has had is well documented and therefore we had to review the capacity within the group – the reality is that since we downsized the factory in 2007, it’s running at about 50%. And what we make in the UK is 12% of what we sell in the UK.
“Alsager is set up to make 550,000 pieces a year so it’s not a big factory compared with those around Europe which can make two, three or four million pieces. The overheads you need to make that much more product is not exponential, so you get to a point where greater efficiencies and greater size pass on the benefits that the market demands.”