Dozens of jobs axed as North East cable firm ends production

AEI Cables. Picture from Google Images.
AEI Cables. Picture from Google Images.
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Dozens of people are to lose their jobs this week after efforts to save a North east manufacturing firm failed.

A plan to secure the future of Birtley-based AEI Cables was rejected by its parent company in November and the firm announced there were three remaining options: selling the business as a going concern; operating as a sales and distribution centre with the loss of manufacturing, or site closure as a last resort.

Now the company has announced it is unable to continue manufacturing and that it will continue as a sales-only business as part of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

The majority of the company’s 198 employees will leave on or before Friday. As part of a phased closure, approximately 40 employees will continue working until the beginning of March.

Some 13 sales and administration staff will stay on working for the company after September at a location to be decided.

In the CVA, employees can claim statutory redundancy pay from the Government’s Redundancy Payments Office, while the company can pay creditors over a fixed period in accordance with the terms of the CVA. If creditors agree the CVA, the company can continue trading in the meantime.

A spokesman for AEI Cables said: "The company has been losing money for some time and, following careful consideration of other options to avoid or reduce the number of potential redundancies, it was necessary to either find a buyer or to cease production.

"Despite significant investment in the plant over the last two-and-a-half years, profitable production levels have not been achieved. With unviable output levels and without a buyer, we deeply regret that manufacturing operations will have to cease. We will be providing all the advice and guidance we can to those being made redundant."