Hanson UK CEO Patrick O’Shea confirmed the cuts to staff yesterday.
He said: “I gave notice in September that the executive team was working on a recovery plan to combat the continuing downturn in UK construction activity.
“I am today announcing a series of proposals designed to strengthen the business, protect our long-term future and ensure we are better equipped to meet the challenges which lie ahead.”
The restructure will involve:
Aggregates: Mothballing of Shardlow, Tytherington, and Sutton Courtenay quarries and closure of Hingston Down and South Molton concrete block works; production breaks during 2013 at a number of sites to match predicted demand; restructure of the operations and commercial management team under four area general managers.
Asphalt and contracting: Closure of Keepershield, Ystrad Meurig, St Ives and Tytherington asphalt plants; consolidation of the four areas in north and central into two, and a wind-down and closure of the civil engineering business.
Concrete: Closure of Perth, Minffordd, Blackpool, Stockport, Llantrisant and Tytherington plants; consolidation of the area management structure by combining north east and north/north, south west and south Wales and east midlands and Suffolk.
Building products: Closure of Accrington brick works and capacity reductions at Wilnecote; transfer of the brick and block distribution function to cement division at Ketton; staff reductions in support services.
Cement: Closure of Falkirk packed products depot and production cut-backs at Bulls Lodge; closure of the dry silo mortar business and transfer of the packed distribution function to cement division at Ketton.
Corporate and staff functions: Closure of Clifford House at Wetherby by the end of March 2013 and consolidation of the customer service centre functions into Shepshed and Allington as part of a project to improve distribution and sales performance; a 20% reduction in spend for corporate functions, which will result in some job losses; combining the health and safety and environment teams into a new sustainability function.
O’Shea said the move will result in the loss of around 250 jobs.
He said: “We will be doing all we can to mitigate job losses by eliminating vacancies and trying to find alternative posts for affected staff.
“I have asked the management team to ensure everyone whose job may be at risk to be informed by close of business on Friday.
“The relevant trade unions and the UK employee forum have been notified, and I expect most of the restructuring to be completed by the end of the year.”
The senior management team has also been reshuffled with Phil Redmond taking over the aggregates division and Brian Charleton assuming responsibility for asphalt and contracting.
Allan Black GMB National Officer said “These further job losses across the UK in one of the key companies in building materials give the lie to the notion that the current recession, now in it’s sixth year, is over.
“Once closed these facilities are rarely or never brought back into production.
“This is only the latest cut in Hanson and the construction materials sector. The fear is that there are more to come.”