Hanson to axe 56 jobs at Peterborough brick works

Aaron Morby 13 years ago
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Falling demand for London common bricks has forced Hanson to unveil plans to mothball its Saxon brickworks, near Peterborough with the loss of 56 jobs.

But the brickmaker hopes to save some jobs at the Whittlesey works by investing in presses for more popular facing bricks at the neighbouring Kings Dyke works.

Jim Claydon, Hanson Building Products managing director, said: “We produce two types of bricks in equal quantities at Kings Dyke and Saxon – flat set, also known as facing, and edge set or common.

“The market for common bricks is declining at a higher rate so we need to change our processes to make more flat set bricks if we are to remain competitive.

“Our proposal is to invest over £1m to refurbish the presses at Kings Dyke and create a new flat set production line. That will mean Kings Dyke alone will be able to meet current and future market requirements for Fletton bricks.”

If approved, the proposal would be implemented in October. Affected employees have now entered a 30-day consultation period over the redundancy plans.

The market for the London-type Fletton common brick is declining at around 3% a year.

In 1974 the annual demand was over 3bn, but last year the total brick market stood at around 1.5bn with Flettons accounting for less than 10%.

Claydon added that the company had reached the point where it could no longer justify producing so many commons.

“We already have two years worth of stocks on the ground, and the market is continuing to fall. It’s simply not sustainable to continue making products that we can’t sell.”

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