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Friday, 25 July 2014

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Firm drops Cumbria garage revamp plan after public outcry

West Cumbria has been hit with another jobs blow as plans to create 40 posts at a Cockermouth service station have been shelved.

Oakhurst garage Cockermouth photo
The existing Oakhurst site

Just days after Tata Steel gave the shattering news that 90 jobs could be shed at its Workington plant, Euro Garages Ltd has withdrawn its application for a major revamp of the Oakhurst filling station.

The Blackburn-based company said the development would have created full-time and part-time jobs when the plans were revealed only a month ago.

They planned to flatten the current filling station, just off the A66 and replace it with a 24-hour facility which would have a convenience store, Subway sandwich franchise, a drive-through Starbucks as well as a fuel forecourt and cash machine.

However, the plans caused outcry among residents and businesses who feared that the development would stop people coming into the town and nearly 60 people lodged objections.

Rachel Tate, of Little Broughton, called the plans “totally out of keeping with Cockermouth”.

“I object to this application, not only due to the size and design but the principle of a drive- through cafe keeping the trade away from existing businesses,” she added.

Kate Fisher, from Victoria Road in the town, added: “Our town has so many fabulous privately owned cafes, which need our support. I do not think a multi-national should be given the opportunity to profit from our pockets.”

This is the second blow this week that west Cumbria has faced.

Tata Steel announced on Tuesday that as part of restructuring proposal within the company – which aims to strengthen competitiveness – a total of 500 jobs are proposed to go at three sites across the UK.

One of these is Workington which could see almost a third of the current workforce shed. It is understood most redundancies will be within management and administrative roles.

  • Discussions are still underway at the Indorama site in Workington about the factory’s future.

The News & Star revealed in August that a consultation had been launched to find the best path forward for the plant which is facing tough challenges from Asian competitors.

The 78-strong workforce at the Siddick factory face an uncertain future after bosses admitted they were keeping their options open.

Richard Jones, the company’s head of investor relations and corporate communications, told the News & Star that everything discussed “must remain confidential out of respect for the people involved”.

He added that he could not put a “deadline” to the process.

Have your say

Maybe Jonty Chippendale and his colleagues would be happier if we took out the electric and replaced it with old fashioned gas lamps to make the town even more Georgian. whilst I am favour of protecting a towns identity we also have to move with the times.

Posted by Bob on 5 November 2013 at 12:46

@me - sounds like you don't pay much attention to news if think that headlines define a news story, nothing in the body of this story mentions euro garages dropping the plans due to the public comments, the second article says 'they work closely with everyone' which to be honest doesn't mean anything.

@chris - I didn't realise that part time staff were much cheaper to employ if they get less than 16hours, no wonder the country is full of part timers desperate for more hours, they'll be whats classed as the 'under employed'

Posted by alan on 4 November 2013 at 08:46

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