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Employer declines to comment on Bury St Edmunds redundancy reports

PUBLISHED: 06:00 30 January 2016 | UPDATED: 15:49 02 February 2016

HRP - Rougham Industrial Estate

HRP - Rougham Industrial Estate

Archant

A Rougham-based retailer declined to comment last night on reports it was considering cutting 42 jobs as part of a bid to move north.

HRP has its headquarters on the Rougham Industrial Estate, just to the east of Bury St Edmunds.

The firm, which describes itself as “wholesalers of refrigeration and air conditioning supplies”, would not deny or confirm that it had started a three-month redundancy consultation at its Suffolk base.

The company was recently bought by Swedish company Beijer Ref AB and it is understood the new owner wants to move the head office to Leeds, with reports that 10 Suffolk employees were being given the chance to head to Yorkshire as part of the move.

Last November, Beijer Ref bought the remaining 56% of shares in HRP, which operates 15 other branches in the UK.

The deal came a few weeks after the death of former majority owner Kingsley Curtis, who died in September following a battle with cancer.

Mr Curtis, who took over the business from his father, was a classic car enthusiast and his collection of vehicles is due to be sold at auction in March when it is thought it could fetch around £1.7million.

Speaking at the time of purchase, Beijer Ref’s chief executive Per Bertland said HRP would continue operating under its brand but there would be more “joint group affiliation” with Beijer’s other two UK refrigeration wholesalers Dean & Wood and RW Refrigeration Wholesale.

The takeover took place on January 1.

An unnamed staff member on the Rougham Industrial Estate yesterday said he was unable to give any comment but did note that news seemed to be “out on the street” now.

HRP, which was founded in 1945 and was originally known as Headlands Refrigeration Parts, is understood to have a workforce of around 170.

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