Firm tight-lipped over town commitment

ONE of Ipswich's biggest employers was today staying tight-lipped on its future in the town after agreeing an £18 million deal to site its site.Crane, based in Nacton Road, refused to confirm that the business would stay in Ipswich in the long term.

ONE of Ipswich's biggest employers was today staying tight-lipped on its future in the town after agreeing an £18 million deal to site its site.

Crane, based in Nacton Road, refused to confirm that the business would stay in Ipswich in the long term.

Crane, which employs nearly 400 people, announced the site sale earlier this week.

But today managing director Peter Wilson repeatedly declined to say that the firm would stay in Ipswich.

Crane, which makes fluid systems for the engineering industry, has two years to find new premises after selling its 43-acre site to a property company.

The buyer, within the Allied Property and Leisure Group, plans a mixed-use development on the Ravenswood site. Crane plans to lease back its foundry and factory for two years while it looks for alternative premises.

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Today a trade union said they were still in the dark about the future of Crane.

But Ian Marshall, regional officer for the Amicus section of Unite, which represents more than 100 employees at the site, vowed to fight to keep jobs in Ipswich.

He said: “I understand it is their intention to retain a presence within Ipswich.

“What of course we don't know at the moment is exactly what that presence is going to be.

“We will obviously fight tooth and nail to retain as much as possible in Ipswich and use every avenue open to use to secure people's jobs.”

Unite hopes to meet Crane bosses in early January to try to find out more about the firm's future.

n. Do you work at Cranes? Are you worried about the future of the business? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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