Engineering jobs fears

BHW Components on Wheatlea Industrial Estate
BHW Components on Wheatlea Industrial Estate
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SCORES of highly-skilled Wigan workers were today holding their breath after the sale of a showpiece engineering plant.

Marus Bridge-based BHW Components – which makes parts for the aircraft industry – made a £3.9m loss in the last financial year.

Last night it was confirmed that the business had been sold to rival LNB of Northampton in a £2.3m cash deal arranged by receivers. It is designed to help its under-pressure parent company, Hampson Aerospace Industries, by off-setting some of its huge debt mountain.

Hampson is also now seeking to sell off its operations in India and the US in an effort to keep trading.

The firm had tried to sell off the Wigan subsidiary in the summer after “rescheduling” by a key customer and the decision of another aircraft manufacturer to retain in-house machining and finishing operations originally planned to outsource to BHW.

Shares at Hampson have been suspended since July after the company said that it was unable to reach agreement to solve its funding difficulties.

The company itself, which now has 150 workers after a series of redundancy rounds last year, has been up for sale since February.

Regional organiser for its Unite membership, Dave Gorton, was unavailable for comment.