Up to 350 jobs are at risk of being axed as Cummins Generator Technologies is set to close within a year.
The American engineering company is Stamford’s biggest employer with 500 staff on its books. It has been based in Barnack Road, in the town, for 50 years.
It has decided to close its doors within the next year claiming that the site is uncompetitive despite investment and efforts to improve productivity.
Staff were informed at 10am yesterday at the same time as the Rutland and Stamford Mercury received a press release about the closure.
The decision to tell the press before all members of staff were informed has angered some workers and their families.
Cummins has confirmed that 150 members of staff will be moved to a new centre of excellence at Cummins’ site on Ryhall Road, in Stamford, to ensure that it retains a prescence in the town.
It hopes to move the remaining 350 staff, bar some voluntary redundancies, to other Cummins sites locally, if there are vacancies. Consultation is due to start next week.
A Cummins spokesman said: “This was a difficult decision for us to make.
“We recognise the impact that closing our Barnack Road facility will have, but despite extensive efforts we have sadly not be able to secure a sustainable future for the site.
“By undertaking this reorganisation we will be able to improve productivity, deliver greater value for our customers and ensure that our manufacturing operations remain sustainable.
“We remain committed to Stamford and believe our new centre of excellence will allow us to establish a deeper technical presence now, and for the long-term.
“We will be actively working to support our employees and the community during the transition.”
The move has been criticised by the Unite union which acts for the Cummins staff.
Scott Lennon, Unite’s regional officer for Stamford, said: “There was a briefing on Thursday monrning and everyone was told.
“Unite will be involved and we will be doing everything that we can to support our members through this difficult time.
“The consultations start next week and we will fight for our members.”
A member of Cummins staff, who did not want to be named, said: “Being a Stamfordian it is a real loss to the town and there will be widespread impact.
“It has always been talked about for the last 20 years that eventually it will close but it’s sad that time has now come and I feel for everyone affected.”