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Anglian Home Improvements gave director £300k pay-off while making huge loss

PUBLISHED: 14:43 06 June 2019 | UPDATED: 14:43 06 June 2019

Staff hours and numbers at the Anglian Home Improvements factory in Norwich are being cut. Photo: Archant

Staff hours and numbers at the Anglian Home Improvements factory in Norwich are being cut. Photo: Archant

Archant

One of the region's biggest businesses gave a senior director a £316,000 pay-off as it slashed staff numbers and made millions of pounds in losses.

The Anglian Home Improvements factory in Liberator Road, Norwich.The Anglian Home Improvements factory in Liberator Road, Norwich.

Anglian Home Improvements paid the figure to one of its directors in 2017, the year it made a £2.1m loss, on top of another £6.1m loss after tax the year before.

It has also cut staff numbers by more than 200 since 2016 and last month announced it was looking to cut staff hours from 48 to 40 hours a week.

The plans, which include bringing in agency workers and cutting staff pay, have been met with anger by the GMB union.

GMB said the plans would have a "devastating financial impact" upon the 1,500 workers at Anglian Home Improvements.

South Norwich Labour MP Clive Lewis Photo: UK ParliamentSouth Norwich Labour MP Clive Lewis Photo: UK Parliament

But despite being in financial difficulty, generous pay rises for its directors continued last year.

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In 2018 the firm gave its top paid director a £46,000 pay increase, from £228,000 to £274,000, which is 20pc, as it cut another 126 staff.

The top-paid director also saw their benefits - such as car allowance or a medical plan - increase from a value of £6,000 to £60,000.

Norwich South Labour MP Clive Lewis said: "While their employees are wracked with worry about their futures, how can bosses who do this kind of thing sleep at night? I don't care if this kind of thing is above board legally, it is morally disgraceful behaviour.

"It also shows how over the last few decades the economy has been systematically rewired to reward the few who own, rent or lend at the expense of all of us who actually create this country's wealth by going into work every day."

The firm, which is based on Liberator Road, Norwich, was taken over in 2016 by a company registered in Guernsey called Alchemy Partners LP Inc.

It is not known who received the sums of cash, but its chief executive when the large pay off and pay rise were given was Brian McCluskie, who left in November 2018 and it now has new management. We have not been able to contact Mr McCluskie.

Anglian Home Improvements declined to comment, but a spokesman previously said it had focussed on "close control of costs" for the "challenging market conditions".

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