Beko factory in Yate could be closed with 150 jobs at risk

Beko Europe has announced its subsidiary Hotpoint UK Appliances Ltd. site, in Yate, will enter a consultation period regarding potential closure
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Home appliances manufacturer Beko has announced it is considering the closure of its subsidiary Hotpoint UK Appliances factory in Yate, South Gloucestershire. The move puts approximately 150 jobs at risk.

The Hotpoint site, near Bristol, currently produces tumble dryers for markets across UK and Ireland but bosses say it has been "operating at a significant loss for some time", as these products have become less popular with the rise of more energy-efficient heat-pump technologies.

Beko announced on Friday, July 5, that its subsidiary company, Hotpoint UK Appliances Ltd, will now enter a consultation period expected to last 50 days, to decide the future of the site at Yate and its employees.

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The manufacturer claims that it is not feasible, either economically or technically, to remodel the Yate factory in order to keep operations running in line with EU legislation, which will soon mandate that all new tumble dryers will need to be produced with heat-pump technology. This is a measure also likely to be adopted in the UK in the future.

But the company has assured that all of the team at Yate will continue to be employed on full pay and benefits while the consultation process is ongoing.

Teresa Arbuckle, regional managing director for the UK and Ireland, at Beko Europe, said: "We know this news will be difficult to hear for our employees, on-site contractors, and the whole community. The Yate site has a superb workforce, with real commitment and strong leadership, and we are grateful for their continued efforts during this challenging time.

"The facility has been operating at a significant loss for some time, and over the past few years, despite continued investment in the site, demand for the appliances produced here has rapidly decreased as consumers purchase more advanced and energy-efficient models.

"Pending consultation, if positions are made redundant, Beko Europe will do all we can to support the employees who may potentially be affected. Employees continue to have access to the usual support from HR, business leaders and the Employee Assistance Programme, but should the proposal to close the site go ahead, the business would look to provide additional outplacement and other relevant support.

"We have contacted the site’s new Member of Parliament and South Gloucestershire Council, and we will listen carefully to the local community as the consultation processes progress."

Meanwhile, newly-elected MP for Thornbury and Yate, Claire Young, said in response to the announcement: "The news will have come as a shock to many local people. Following the announcement, I held an urgent meeting with Beko on Friday.

"I will do all I can working with the company and others to get the best possible outcome for those who work there, and to ensure the site continues to provide jobs in our community. The site has provided local employment for more than a century, and has a special place in the history of Yate."