Jobs blow at major Doncaster manufacturing firm

Bridon Technology Centre
Bridon Technology Centre

Nearly 80 jobs are set to be axed at a Doncaster-based international wire rope making company.

A consultation process is under way at Bridon over up to 77 potential redundancies in the Doncaster factory and offices, where 350 employees work.

The fall in the price of oil has been blamed for the decision to slash jobs at the firm, which is regarded as one of Britain’s oldest engineering businesses.

A spokesman for Bridon said: “We announced on January 12 the commencement of a consultation process with our union representatives regarding up to 77 potential redundancies in the Doncaster factory and associated office areas, where we currently employ approximately 350 people.

“This unfortunate situation is a consequence of a significant drop in the oil price which has created weak trading conditions across the globe and a substantial reduction in Bridon’s sales forecast.

“We have also seen a weaker than expected recovery in demand from mining customers, which has further contributed to current trading remaining well below our initial expectations.

“As such we have had no choice but to review our cost base along with current staffing levels across the Doncaster business.

“Until consultation is completed, no final decisions will be made and management continue to work with local union representatives to identify alternatives to the company’s proposals.”

The move comes just months after Bridon announced plans to merge one of its divisions with a Belgian rival to create a £430 million turnover business to help it expand into Asia.

The firm, which has its headquarters at Balby Carr Bank, announced in December plans to combine its ropes and advanced cords business with Bekaert to create a group with almost 3,000 employees and 19 factories in 11 countries.

The process is still ongoing but Bridon owners Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan would hold a 33 per cent stake of the Bridon Bekaert Ropes Group if the deal goes ahead.

Bridon, which can trace its roots back to 1789, was sold to the pension plan by Melrose Industries in October 2014 for £365m.

It manufactures wire and ropes for the construction, mining, marine and energy sectors.