BLG begin move to Beccles
WORKERS at the country's largest packaging machinery manufacturer this week started their move from Norwich back to Beccles.Employees at the Bradman Lake Group (BLG), currently based in Old Hall Road, near Harford Bridge, are moving to the old Europack factory off George Westwood Way.
WORKERS at the country's largest packaging machinery manufacturer this week started their move from Norwich back to Beccles.
Employees at the Bradman Lake Group (BLG), currently based in Old Hall Road, near Harford Bridge, are moving to the old Europack factory off George Westwood Way.
BLG designs and makes packaging machines used by many household names, including seven of the world's 10 largest confectionary companies.
The move to Beccles is the latest development in what has been a turbulent year for the company, which was bought by Langley Holdings in October 2007 after going into administration.
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BLG was formed in 2004 following the amalgamation of Bristol-based Bradman Lake with Autowrappers and Europack, which had been in Beccles since 1965.
In July last year, 29 staff from Beccles were made redundant before the company moved all its production in the east of England to a purpose-built site on Old Hall Road. But in November it emerged that Langley Holdings had failed to reach an agreement over the lease of the new Norwich factory. They pulled out of the building after just three months and decided to move all the business back to the old Beccles site on Common Lane North.
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The first of the design staff and manufacturing equipment arrived in Beccles on Monday, with the rest expected to follow in the next couple of weeks.
About a dozen shop-floor workers remained in Beccles after the shift to Norwich last summer to make parts for the remaining machine orders and they are now working from a unit on the nearby Ellough industrial estate.
Mark Robinson, the company's Amicus union representative, said: “It's good news for the staff who came from Beccles a few months ago, many of whom live nearby. But many of the original Autowrappers workers don't want to or can't transfer to Beccles - it's a long way for them to drive and public transport is not good.
“Many of them are concerned about whether the jobs in Beccles are suitable alternative employment, but the other option was really only redundancy.
“While there's a limited amount of compensation available to them in the short term, there are always more issues and we're assisting those who want to take this further.”
Most of the 140 staff are expected to move made the move to Beccles by the end of this week.
No one at Bradman Lake was available for comment.