Council in sell-off bid

A WIGAN workshop which provides jobs for diabled people is being sold off because of Government cuts.

Wigan Council today ended months of speculation by confirming it is disposing of the Metrolite Industries business in Ince because they can no longer afford to subsidise it.

Council chiefs say the move would save the authority up to £250,000 per year, which could then be diverted into vital front-line services.

The business - which employs a number of people with registered disabilities among the remaining 20 strong workforce - has been operating for over 30 years specialising in the manufacture of double glazed unit and garden furniture.

For many years it was successful – often supplying large contracts for major housing refurbishment programmes (locally and across the country).

In recent years, however, this type of business has started to decline and although Metrolite has diversified into the garden furniture business this has not generated sufficient level of trade.

At its peak Metrolite employed more than 50 people, but this has reduced by more than half recently.

Wigan Council’s Service Director for Strategy and Commissioning Stuart Cowley said: “These are difficult times for firms across the country and the problems facing Metrolite are similar to those experienced in many areas.

“We have done our best to work with the business, but it became clear that we were simply unable to reverse the decline in business.

“We have worked closely with the management and staff in Metrolite and will be offering intensive advice and support for those who will be directly affected by the decision.”

“Work is underway to find a new operator or owner for the business and we are hopeful that with a fresh start it will be possible to provide some replacement jobs for local people.

An information pack is available for anyone who is interested. They should contactKatie Long at Wigan Council’s Economic Regeneration Department on 01942 828929.