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Mon October 26 2020

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180 job losses loom as Tata Steel shuts modular building plant

13 Oct 10 Tata Steel is to close its modular building plant at Shotton, North Wales, putting 180 jobs at risk.

Tata Steel is to close its modular building plant at Shotton, North Wales, putting 180 jobs at risk.

The Living Solutions business was established in 2003 by the steel manufacturer to make modular buildings for the construction industry.

The business specialises in a complete modular approach to construction, typically aimed at single living accommodation, such as army barracks and student accommodation.

Andrew Black, managing director of Tata Steel Building Systems, said: “It is with great regret that, following a detailed review of the Living Solutions business, we have proposed to withdraw from this business activity.

“Living Solutions was set up as a pilot venture to explore a non-core business prospect downstream of our normal steelmaking activity.

“Given the continuing weak construction market and the impending completion of a long-term agreement to supply modules to the defence accommodation sector, Living Solutions has been unable to establish sufficient market presence to justify continuing with the business, which has never been profitable.”

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Black said the modular buildings sector “is highly competitive” and that Tata had already tried to address the business’s problems by reducing costs and through a restructuring that took place last year.

However, despite these efforts, “there are no prospects” of generating viable new business following the completion of the defence contract.

Living Solutions employs 180 workers, and Tata said a full consultation process will take place on a collective basis with trade unions and employee representatives, and with all employees on an individual basis. The company said it will explore opportunities to re-deploy employees where practical.

This announcement does not affect any of the other businesses at Shotton, which include Tata Steel Colors, Panels and Profiles and other Tata Steel facilities.

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