Pledge of support for under-threat Heatrae Sadia workers from City Hall

Production at the Heatrae Sadia plant in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Production at the Heatrae Sadia plant in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2013

Council leaders are still hoping to persuade bosses of the closure-threatened Heatrae Sadia factory in Norwich that their future should lie in the city.

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council. Pic: Jeff Taylor.

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council. Pic: Jeff Taylor. - Credit: Archant

More than 200 jobs are under threat at the Hurricane Way-based water heating and heating manufacturer after parent company Baxi Heating UK said it was looking to move to Preston.

The company said the changes were 'necessary to make the company stronger and to place it in the best position to face the future challenges and opportunities in the UK's heating industry'.

At a meeting of Norwich City Council on Tuesday night, Labour councillor Hugo Malik said the impending closure was a 'bitter blow to workers, their families and our city' after nearly a hundred years of trading.

Alan Waters, leader of the city council, said: 'To date, closure of the Norwich factory has not been formally confirmed and no redundancy notices have been issued to Norwich workers at the site.

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'I am in contact with the UNITE regional official directly dealing with the Heatrae Sadia factory and we share the view everything should be done to help the factory expand on the Norwich site and not move to Preston.

'Heatrae Sadia have been an active and valued part of Norwich's advanced manufacturing sector and the news of a potential closure of the Norwich site is extremely saddening.

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'Whilst nothing has yet been confirmed thoughts are with workers and families who must be finding the uncertainty extremely stressful and worrying.

'We are in regular contact with the company and with the Jobcentre, local manufacturing sector groups, New Anglia LEP and other partners and are ready to support the workers and the business through this difficult time whatever the outcome of the consultation.

'Obviously our preferred option would be to retain the Heatrae Sadia business in Norwich but, in the event we are unable to do this; the local manufacturing sector has a buoyant job market with several local businesses that would see the transferable skills and knowledge of Heatrae Sadia's workforce as a valuable asset to their own businesses.

'In any eventuality we stand ready with our partners to offer a comprehensive package of support.'

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