The closure of the 60-year old AKD Engineering Ltd in Lowestoft, Suffolk, with the loss of 113 jobs, was described as ‘a massive body blow’ to the workforce and the local economy by UK’s largest union, Unite.
The company announced it is to close the business from the end of June, following several years of substantial losses, compounded by the current downturn in the oil and gas sector.
Unite regional officer Miles Hubbard said: “This is a massive body blow to the dedicated workforce and their families, and for the local economy on the Norfolk/Suffolk border.
“We will be seeking an urgent meeting with senior management to see what options may be available to save or relocate these jobs.
“This closure is an indication that nationally economic recovery is still very much centered on London and parts of the south east. We can ill afford to lose such skilled engineering jobs in this predominately rural area.
“We will be working closely with our members and all interested parties in the coming days and weeks to explore all employment opportunities for these workers.”
AKD Engineering, based at Horn Hill, is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Camellia group.
It has been in operation for 60 years, originally manufacturing diesel engines for the local shipbuilding industry, before becoming an engineering services provider to the oil and gas sector.