Around 300 jobs at risk at Luton SKF factory as bearings manufacturer moves production to Europe

SKF is to close its factory in Luton.
Credit: Google.
SKF is proposing closing its factory in Luton. Credit: Google

About 300 jobs have been put at risk after a manufacturing firm announced plans to move production from the UK to Europe.

SKF has revealed plans to shut its plant in Luton and relocate manufacturing to its facility in Poznan in Poland.

It said the move to the continent was in order to "secure the long-term competitiveness on the European markets".

Manufacturing at the site in Luton, which makes spherical roller bearings, would be ramped down with a full closure anticipated by the end of 2024, said the firm.

Aldo Cedrone, acting president for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, said: "Although it is a difficult decision to make, this is an important step in securing our long-term competitiveness on the European markets.

"To ensure that our spherical roller bearing production stays competitive, investments are needed in new machinery and our evaluation showed Poznan is the optimum site for this investment.

"Our immediate focus is to support our colleagues in Luton."

The news comes just weeks after the parent company of another major employer in the town, Vauxhall, warned that it may have to move production out of Luton unless the UK's Brexit deal could be changed.

SKF said the closure was in line with its strategy to invest in "automation and regionalisation" and adapt its manufacturing operations in Europe.

The factory in Luton employs around 300 people.

SKF said the closure was "subject to consultation with employees and union representatives" adding that it was "fully committed to engaging with employees and their representatives throughout the consultation process".

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