Late pay, no pay, then 125 workers lose jobs
THE collapse of a modular accommodation manufacturer, Lightspeed in Stonehouse, has thrown 125 people out of work.
The firm, based at the Stroudwater Business Park off Oldends Lane, has ceased trading after running out of money to pay its employees for September.
The company only took over making the student and key worker pods from Unite three months ago.
Administrators are currently helping the former workforce with claims to the Government's Redundancy Payments Service and also hunting for a buyer for the business.
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But the factory closure was a big blow for Stonehouse, the town's mayor Chris Brine said.
"It is dreadful. They did employ quite a few local workers. As a town council we really do feel for people who've lost their jobs," Mr Brine said.
"As the job market is at the moment I fear that 125 people are going to be out of work," he added.
Stroud MP Neil Carmichael said: "It is unfortunate and tragic for people who are losing their jobs. This is a significant number of people looking for jobs."
Mr Carmichael said he was doing all he could to promote employment and engineering in the constituency, including a meeting last Friday, with the Department of Work and Pensions, about unemployment.
A redundant Lightspeed worker said employees' monthly pay was several days late in July and August. "Then last month we never even got paid," he said.
"I am 64 in February. It is very unlikely I'll find another job. I might find a little part time one or something," he said.
"But I am a lot luckier than most. My wife works. But for the young with mortgages and young kids I think it is disgusting."
Joint administrator Andrew Sheridan said: "Lightspeed had run out of cash and had not met its September payroll commitments.
"Our priority now, as well as continuing to assist the employees, is to secure a purchaser for the business and assets and we are already in discussions with interest parties."
Mr Sheridan said it was too early yet to comment on the likely outcome of those negotiations.