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Tetbury axed as Terex cuts European bill

PLANT

TEREX is restructuring its operations in the UK as it tries to cut costs throughout Europe.

The manufacturer is to close its telehandler facilities at Tetbury, Gloucestershire, in October and is transferring production and 'key staff ' to its Fermec factory in Manchester.

It is not known how many of the 26-strong workforce at the former Matbro factory will relocate but general manager Chris Melia conceded that some jobs would go.

Terex will move assembly of its British-built telehandlers to Manchester, along with sales and service functions for the UK and the Matbro parts operation.

Manchester will also house the UK distribution of Italian-built TerexLifts.

Terex Europe president Colin Robertson said: 'The additional resources available at this major Terex facility, with its central location and excellent motorway connections, will be key elements in our ability to provide a faster and better service to our customers.'

The closure of the factory will mark the end of a chequered history at Tetbury.

Matbro employed 200 staff at the factory at its peak but in 1998 serious accounting irregularities were found to have occurred at the division, a discovery which led to a Serious Fraud Office investigation.

The parent company at the time, Powerscreen, found there was a £55 million hole in Matbro's accounts and the factory closed, with the loss of 70 jobs.

Most of Matbro's assets were sold to John Deere but telehandler assembly restarted at Tetbury after Terex bought the Powerscreen group in 1999.

Terex has brought in-house its crane distribution operation, formerly outsourced to dealer European Cranes. It is run from its Warwick facility by UK distribution head Chris Stevens.