Sadness as Lister Petter leaves Dursley after 150 years
SADNESS and disappointment among Dursley people has followed the news that Lister Petter is to leave the town.
After more than 150 years, the diesel engine company announced on Tuesday that it will relocate to the Quedgeley West Business Park in spring 2014.
Councillors and the firm's boss said the 200 jobs involved were remaining in the Stroud district since the new factory would be built in the Hardwicke parish.
But former Dursley mayor Gerry Pierce was among many who had "a feeling of sadness" because Lister had been a part of the town for so many years.
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"It is in the hearts of a lot of people," Mr Pierce said.
"Lister put Dursley on the map. We are known world-wide for Lister products."
Retired employee Hugh Tipper, 68, spent 45 years with the firm.
Mr Tipper rose from apprentice fitter and turner, through to machine shop supervisor and then manager roles to become production director.
"I share the disappointment that they are moving out of Dursley and recognise the difficulties that there will be for many people in having to travel to work," Mr Tipper said.
"The majority of people that I know that still work there. They either walk or cycle to work.
"They are not the best paid. Most people would give the time to travel but it's whether there will be any compensation for the cost."
In its heyday, around 1978, Lister employed some 3,400 people
Now its new £2million purpose-built production facility, warehouse and offices would continue Lister Petter's historic association with Gloucestershire, its chief executive officer Bryan Draper said.
Valued, skilled employees would be retained and further jobs created, he said.
Dursley Heritage Centre already has an exhibition of Lister history where people can learn more.