A substantial number of jobs will be lost after manufacturing firm, Glen Dimplex, announced plans to close its Portadown factory next year.
The multi-million pound company, which employs around 8,000 people worldwide across its group, made the announcement to workers on Thursday morning.
While bosses described the move as a “substantial investment and reorganisation” focusing on the “transition to low carbon electric heating and ventilation solutions for homes and businesses”, it will be of little consolation to many who now face the prospect of unemployment.
In Northern Ireland, the Group proposes to invest around €25m in its Newry site, however, panel and storage heating manufacturing will transfer from the group’s sites in Newry and Portadown to its existing manufacturing site in Lithuania.
Under this proposal, the Portadown site will close, most likely in 2025, with some staff redeploying to Newry.
Employees at all Glen Dimplex sites were briefed today about the proposed reorganisation that will be implemented on a phased basis from late 2024 through 2026.
There will be no redundancies as part of the planned reorganisation of operations for at least six months. Management say they will work with employee representatives, union groups and training agencies to ensure the planned transitions are “as seamless as possible and that appropriate outplacement and training supports are provided”.
Fergal Leamy, Glen Dimplex Group CEO commented: “Glen Dimplex has always been a leader in electric heating solutions for homes and businesses. The drive for zero carbon renewable electricity requires a transition in the technology and appliances used in our homes and businesses, especially in smart and sustainable heating and ventilation solutions such as next generation heat pumps, ventilation and storage solutions using renewable energy sources.
“By signalling these proposed changes significantly in advance of proposed implementation we aim to mitigate the impact on staff and minimise redundancies through training and redeployment and affording the opportunity to apply for hundreds of new roles that will be created over the coming years.
“Our proposed €50m investment will reorientate our operations on this island so that they are environmentally and economically sustainable and a major driving force in the next chapter of growth at Glen Dimplex. Our transition will bring significant change and challenge in the near term but also phenomenal opportunities for the next generation and beyond. One thing is clear; the status quo is not an option as consumer demand and public policy chart course for zero carbon future.”