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19 jobs lost at Froghall copper firm

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: April 19, 2014

By Leslie Jackson and Belinda Hargreaves

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NINETEEN workers have been made redundant at a long established Staffordshire Moorlands copper firm.

Thomas Bolton Limited, in Froghall, is currently in the hands of administrators and is up for sale as a going concern.

Up until last week the company, which makes copper products for the power industry, employed 110 people.

Graham Wild, Andrew Palmer and Anne O'Keefe, of advisory and restructuring specialists Zolfo Cooper LLP, were appointed Joint Administrators over Thomas Bolton Limited on March 24.

A spokesman for Zolfo Cooper told the Post & Times this week: "A sale has not yet been agreed and, to minimise losses during the administration period, the Joint Administrators have taken the difficult decision to reduce the size of the workforce with a total of 19 redundancies.

"The company has been trading for over 200 years and is the sole British producer of copper and copper alloys supplied to a number of major electrical industries worldwide.

"It has an extensive product range, skilled workforce and diverse customer base."

Mr Wild added: "It is regrettable that we have had to take the decision to make 19 employees redundant.

"However, we will continue to trade the business while we market it as a going concern.

"We have a received a good level of interest in acquiring the business and are working hard to deliver a successful sale to preserve employment for the area.

"We would also like to thank the staff for their continued support during this especially difficult time."

Workers have told the Post & Times that they had been informed of the redundancies and that the administrators had extended the time for trying to sell the business by four weeks.

One employee said: "We have been informed that there has been a lot of interest in the business, but unfortunately at this time there has to be some redundancies, which will not be voluntary.

"It is understood the administrators want to sell the business with all the skills intact."

The news of the company going into administration came just weeks after an explosion occurred at the factory.

Residents claimed shook their houses and clouds of orange smoke appeared over the site.

The Post & Times also reported two weeks ago that the company had been fined £19,050 plus £10,361 in costs for a separate incident after pleading guilty to single breaches of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, at Stafford Magistrates' Court

The case came after a 63-year-old worker suffered life-changing injuries when he was hit on the head by a metal peg.

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