Jobs threat over Ipswich factory

HUNDREDS of jobs at one of the biggest names in Suffolk were tonight at risk.The factory producing Ransomes grass care machines in Ipswich could close after a review by its American parent company.

By Paul Geater

HUNDREDS of jobs at one of the biggest names in Suffolk were tonight at risk.

The factory producing Ransomes grass care machines in Ipswich could close after a review by its American parent company.

Textron announced today that it was starting a review of its Ipswich factory – but said other departments of the company were not under threat.


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Sales and marketing, customer service and engineering will stay in Ipswich whatever the result of the review.

A total of 375 people are employed by the company in Ipswich – but the company could not say how many of those jobs are at risk.

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"Part of the review will be to look at how many of our people are involved in manufacture and how many in the other departments," said managing director Steve Chicken.

"We shall also be looking at where the split falls between engineering and manufacturing."

Mr Chicken could not say how long the review would take – but hoped it would be completed in a relatively short time.

"We don't want this dragging on too long because it is not good for morale, but we cannot give a timescale at present – this is the start of the process," he said.

The company – founded 200 years ago – was committed to retaining a strong presence in Suffolk whatever happened to the factory.

"We are aware of our role in the community and we intend to remain here," Mr Chicken said.

For full story and reaction see tomorrow's Evening Star.

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