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Jobs go as Ipswich business era ends

PUBLISHED: 18:21 27 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:03 03 March 2010

AN ERA was drawing to a close for fertiliser company Scotts today as production ceased at its Bramford plant.

About 40 jobs were being lost as manufacturing ended on the site, which was formerly Fisons Fertilisers.

AN ERA was drawing to a close for fertiliser company Scotts today as production ceased at its Bramford plant.

About 40 jobs were being lost as manufacturing ended on the site, which was formerly Fisons Fertilisers.

But another 50 administrative jobs will remain in the offices outside Ipswich – and there are no plans to move them.

Production has been switched to plants in France and at Howden in East Yorkshire.

Plant manager David Higgins said today that the decision to cease manufacturing in Suffolk was because of company rationalisation.

"We were manufacturing below capacity at both Bramford and Howden and producing very similar products at each.

"The decision was taken to concentrate production – and that means the end of manufacturing here," he said.

About 55 jobs are going in total since the announcement of the manufacturing closure last year.

"Some people have already gone and some will be going in the next few months, but about 40 are leaving today," said Mr Higgins.

The end of manufacturing means that the company's distinctive "barrel-shaped" warehouses that can be seen from the road and railway will no longer been used.

They are Grade Two listed, but Mr Higgins said no decision had been taken on what to do with them.

"In the immediate future we will be maintaining them, but we haven't decided beyond that – they may well be sold and converted," he said.

The closure of the manufacturing means the loss of another link with Fisons which was one of the biggest names in Suffolk business until the 1990s.

Starting off as a fertiliser manufacturer, the company diversified into gardening products – which were produced at Bramford – and pharmaceuticals.

But a number of changes in the 1980s and 1990s led to its position in Ipswich being weakened – the Bramford plant was spun off as Levington Horticulture before becoming part of Scotts.

Now just the offices of this company remain in the county.

N What do you think? Have you been affected? 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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