19/12/2003

Desmonds to finally shut factory doors

Leading textile firm, Desmonds & Sons is to finally close its factory at Newbuildings and cutting room at Springstown on Friday, with the loss of nearly 300 workers.

The company last month announced it was making the closures as a result of "competitive pressures".

In a statement, the firm said: "Pressures on margins, coupled with increased insurance, energy and social costs combine to pose immense challenges to Northern Ireland manufacturing.

"Despite our efforts to maintain as much employment locally as possible, the inevitable result of all these pressures is that products cease to be viable when made in Northern Ireland and must be produced overseas.

"Our competitors have long since ceased to manufacture garments in the UK."

In July the company, which supplies leading clothing retailer Marks & Spencer, shut the doors of its Irvingstown plant with the loss of 115 jobs.

This followed on from the closure of the firm's plants in Omagh and Swatragh.

(MB)

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