Williams Lea to close Livingston plant

Sarah Cosgrove
Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Williams Lea plans to close its Livingston plant at the beginning of April and move print operations to England.

Williams Lea
Williams Lea

A spokeswoman said the company decided to close the 80-staff Kirkton Campus factory in Livingston, West Lothian following a strategic review of the company’s manufacturing footprint.

It is currently consulting on the loss of 80 roles in the facility. The company was not able to yet say how many jobs, if any, will be created in its two English production 'centres of excellence' in Shepshed, Leicestershire and Norwich, Norfolk but said there was “potential opportunity” for some jobs to be transferred over, although there is not expected to be a high take-up of any such offer given the distance involved.

A spokeswoman said: “We looked at our manufacturing footprint holistically and if its actually servicing in the right place and in the right way.

“We’re always looking at greater efficiencies.”

She said there was “a linear connection” between Livingston and Leicestershire but work could also be sent to Williams Lea’s Norwich site, with further details to be announced later.

“Our focus at the moment is on those people who are affected. Management are currently very involved in making sure that the consultation is running effectively.”

She added: “We have manufacturing printing centres of excellence and they continue play a very important part of our offer. Print as part of marketing services is still very important to us.”

She said both Shepshed and Norwich continue to win new work.

The move has been greeted with dismay in Scotland, particularly since the site produced transactional print and mailing for the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

Both Kirkton and Shepshed were taken over by Williams Lea in 2010 when it won a seven-year contract from the then government-owned bank understood to be worth up to £100m.

At that time around around 275 staff RBS staff were transferred over to Williams Lea through TUPE regulations, with around 60 in Livingston.

One worker told the Daily Record newspaper that the decision was “anti-Scottish”. 

Lothian MSP Neil Findlay said: “This is a really devastating time for the workers at Williams Lea in Livingston.

“The company has won significant contracts from the Royal Bank of Scotland but then go on to cut 80 Scottish jobs by closing their Livingston operation. I appeal to the company to reconsider this move." 

Williams Lea is owned by Deutsche Post and recorded a £361.3m turnover in its most recent results. It has more than 8,000 staff in more than 650 locations in 195 towns worldwide.






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