Appeal for investors as Crumlin factory faces axe
5:22pm Monday 30th September 2013 in News
THE general manager of a Crumlin factory facing closure has said they are hoping to ‘pull something out of the hat’ to keep the business going.
Unisem, a global provider of semiconductor assembly and test services, has announced the proposed closure of its UK facility in Crumlin by the end of 2013, with all 45 staff being made redundant.
Many of the staff have been with the company since it opened the Crumlin factory in 1995.
Andrew Perry, general manager of Unisem, said: “We were told by head office in Malaysia about four weeks ago. Everyone is really worried.
“We are looking to see if there is any way of continuing the business. We are looking for investors and venture capitalists. We want to keep the business going in the UK but as far as head office is concerned, all operations will cease at the end of December."
A spokeswoman for the company said: “Since 2010 the Company has seen a significant reduction in the volume of customer orders and sales revenues. Even with the changes put in place and a reduction of staff last November, the situation has continued with projections for the coming months showing no significant improvement.
“Without being able to lower known operating costs and after very careful consideration the management of the Unisem Group believes that there is no alternative but to announce a proposal to close operations in the UK.
“Whilst all avenues are currently being explored, should a solution not be found, it is currently anticipated that production will cease on December 20 with all staff being made redundant.”
The company has a rich history in terms of manufacturing – from working with CSR to create Bluetooth to designing DNA screens in silicone for customers.
Mr Perry said: “That kind of technology, training and knowledge does not exist anywhere else in the UK or Europe any more. Our customers are very fearful. A lot of them are smaller companies that that would not be of interest for the Asian sites, and there is nowhere else in Europe they can go. The group is not going to change their minds – I’ve been told that categorically.
Mr Perry said: "Last year 15 people were made redundant at the factory in a bid to stem our cash bleed.
Mr Perry added: “I came here myself to oversee the build of the factory in 1995 and the majority of staff have been here in excess of 15 years.
“Staff are very worried – obviously the jobs market in South Wales isn’t brilliant. The people here are particularly skilled and have been in this working environment for a long time. Most of us started in our late twenties, early thirties, and are now middle aged, and it’s quite daunting to think of having to look for a job at this age. It’s a very worrying time.”
The Crumlin factory provides prototype, pre-production prototype and fast-turn builds and complete Probe and Final Test solutions for emerging start-ups and established semiconductor manufacturers.
Mr Parry added: "We are looking for partners, investors, venture capitalists or even to synergize with other companies. We are looking for individual or companies who are willing to sign on – the market is there, we’re currently in talks with a company whose business would be steady over several years,
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