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Thursday, 30 October 2014

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Cumbrian foundry sale failure is huge blow, says MP

West Cumbria has been dealt a bitter blow following the news that the potential sale of a troubled copper foundry has fallen through, says Workington’s MP.

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Intervention: MP Sir Tony Cunningham

Sir Tony Cunningham has been working closely with Tata Steel bosses for the past few months to secure a takeover of the under-threat foundry at the site, which would save around 20 jobs.

However, the company announced yesterday that the sale had failed, and the copper foundry would close in September with all 32 workers losing their positions.

Sir Tony has spoken out following the announcement, calling it a “blow to the area.”

“We were optimistic that a deal could be made,” the MP told the News & Star.

“A lot of hard work and effort went into it and it’s hugely disappointing that there was not a successful outcome at the end.”

Sir Tony’s disappointment was echoed by the top man at Britain’s Energy Coast. Chief executive Steven Szostak said: “It is really disappointing that the sale of the Tata Steel foundry as a way of safeguarding jobs in Workington has been unsuccessful.

“We worked very closely with Tata Steel and with the potential purchaser of the foundry in Workington to assist with the sale, which despite all efforts to secure a deal, has not been possible.

“We will now continue to work with Tata Steel and other partners to assist those staff affected by the plans to close the foundry site.”

Last year the company announced that 75 posts were to be shed across the whole site, with the majority coming from the foundry.

But following talks between management and trade unions it was agreed that the company would search for a new owner from the foundry which employees 32.

Plans are still in place to axe a further 43 posts from across the site, following last year’s announcement that a total of 75 were to go.

A Tata Steel spokesman confirmed the sale was not going ahead yesterday morning and work was now ongoing to close the foundry.

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