618 workers lose jobs in Sheffield factory closure

Polestar UK site, in Tinsley
Polestar UK site, in Tinsley
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More than 600 Sheffield workers are to lose their jobs after a city factory announced it is closing its doors.

Administrators for Polestar UK have today announced that 548 employees will be made redundant at its plant in Tinsley.

Clive Betts

Clive Betts

The announcement – described as ‘devastating’ by MP Clive Betts – follows 65 job losses in the factory earlier this month.

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Mr Betts, MP for Sheffield South East, said: “This announcement is absolutely devastating.

“A total of 613 well-paid jobs, in a new plant, which has had major investment in recent years is very difficult to comprehend.

“You have to ask questions about the management at such a new facility.

“I will be working with Sheffield Council to see if we can secure a support package from the Government to help the workers who have been made redundant.”

A total of 98 employees will lose jobs at the Sheffield Web site and 450 workers at the Gravure site – both of which operate at the same location – meaning 613 workers will lose jobs overall.

Administrators PwC say the Sheffield Web site will close with ‘immediate effect’ and a ‘controlled work out’ of remaining contracts at the Gravure site will be carried out before it too closes. They would not confirm if the entire UK business iss closing.

A PwC spokesman said all staff have been paid until May 31, after which ‘a number’ of employees will remain to decommission equipment.

Since their appointment in April, administrators have been working closely with Polestar UK Print Limited and Polestar Stones-Wheatons Limited, to keep the factory from closing.

Zelf Hussain, joint administrator and PwC partner, said: “It is with real regret that we have made these decisions, but this was the inevitable consequence of no viable offers being received and a rapid departure of a number of customers.

“We would like to thank employees for their assistance, cooperation and hard work at this difficult time.”

Polestar is the UK’s largest independent printer. Several Polestar companies went into administration earlier this year and were snapped-up by a new firm called Polestar UK Print Ltd in a ‘pre-pack’ deal in which a buyer – the company’s biggest investor – was already lined up.

The crisis comes after Polestar’s largest customer decided not to transfer their business to the new organisation.