WIGAN’S economy has suffered a hammer blow after a troubled engineering firm was forced to shut down.
After a year of financial strife, Goose Green business Aeroform made all 86 of its staff redundant at a shock meeting after going into administration for the second time in six months.
The stricken aerospace company had previously shed more than 60 jobs in April after administrators Duff and Phelps were called in, but the business seemed to have been given a new lease of life after being bought by A2E Venture Catalysts.
However, staff at the business, based at the Wheatlea Industrial Estate, were left stunned after being handed their P45s with no prior warning from the management.
The liquidation marks a sad fall from grace for the company, which traded
under its previous name BHW Components for more than 20 years and employed a 300-strong workforce at the peak of its success in the 1990s.
The firm’s end at a time when manufacturing is finally looking up after the recession caused anger among staff and union officials, who are also hoping to avoid lengthy legal battles to recover money owed to those who have lost their jobs.
Unite regional officer Dave Gorton said: “There was no warning given, the work just wasn’t coming in as the members thought.
“This is a considerable blow to Wigan as the aerospace industry is doing well but they seem to have fallen by the wayside, which I can only attribute to bad investment and management.
“We will have to wait and see what happens but last time everybody was paid so hopefully there will not be a problem.”
Aeroform has now gone into liquidation and its Caxton Close factory has closed, with administrators Duff and Phelps overseeing the firm’s winding-up.
The employees are trying to claim unpaid wages and holiday pay as well as notice pay and redundancy from a government fund.
Duff and Phelps were approached for comment but had not responded as the Wigan Evening Post went to press.