End of an era as foundry closes

IT is the end of an era today as Ipswich engineering firm CompAir closed part of its business.The company yesterday ended production of castings causing the foundry at their Ranelagh Road factory to close.

IT is the end of an era today as Ipswich engineering firm CompAir closed part of its business.

The company yesterday ended production of castings causing the foundry at their Ranelagh Road factory to close.

This meant 48 members of staff lost their jobs but the "vast majority" have found new employment.

Despite the end of work at the foundry, it is not the end of CompAir as the company will still employ 140 people.

CompAir, initially known as CompAir Reavell, has been based in Ipswich since September 1898 and originally manufactured steam engines and compressors.

The business today describes itself on its website as "one of the world's leading compressed air and gas system manufacturers".

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A spokesman said: "This is a strategic decision as part of our efforts to build a strong and competitive business by concentrating on the core manufacturing technologies associated with our products.

"While it is with regret that we have had to make these difficult local changes, we are operating in an increasingly cost-conscious market."

CompAir managing director Malcolm Blackwell said: "Despite the nature of this part of our business improvement programme the team in the foundry have responded magnificently during the run down programme.

"I am also pleased that we have helped the vast majority of the team to find new employment."

n What are your memories of the CompAir foundry? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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