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'People were in tears' - workers react after Devon ceramics firm British Ceramic Tile Limited enters administration

British Ceramic Tile Limited has ceased trading with immediate effect. Photo: Google Earth

Employees who are fearing for their jobs at a major Devon manufacturer have told ITV that people were in tears when they were told the news.

Newton Abbot-based British Ceramic Tile Limited announced on Wednesday (30 January) that it had ceased trading with immediate effect.

The UK’s largest manufacturer of ceramic wall and floor tiles employs around 400 people. The firm said it had lost a “key customer contract in recent days”, resulting in 313 redundancies.

An employee, who spoke to ITV News but wanted to remain anonymous, said people "were in tears".

Me and my partner both worked there. We were just given a leaflet and told to apply to the government about what to claim. People were in tears. We were told the company lost a big contract. We’ve had to leave half-finished projects. We think Brexit might have played a part.

– Anonymous employee

It is understood 270 of the jobs that will be cut are based at Newton Abbot and 10 in Cullompton.

The remaining 67 employees will support the orderly winding down of the business, administrators said.

The company released the following statement:

British Ceramic Tile Limited is a leading player in the manufacturer of ceramic tiles, with a longstanding heritage in the local communities in which it operates and a stellar reputation for its quality products.

Unfortunately, challenging trading conditions and the termination of a key customer contract in recent days have forced the business to enter administration and cease trading with immediate effect.

We are currently providing support to the affected employees and are working closely with the Redundancy Payments Service to ensure the best possible outcome in this difficult period.

In the meantime, we would urge any parties interested in acquiring the business to contact us as soon as possible.

– ANDREW SHERIDAN, JOINT ADMINISTRATOR

In addition to its headquarters in Newton Abbot, British Ceramic Tile Limited operates sites in Cullompton and Cleckheaton in West Yorkshire.