Jobs set to go at historic West Yorkshire firm

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Historic manufacturing company Group Rhodes is axing 59 jobs as part of a “radical” restructure.

The Wakefield-based group has confirmed that two of its divisions are to be wound down to ensure its ongoing viability.

Challenging market conditions have forced the business to conduct a reorganisation at the expense of its Slater & Crabtree and Joseph Rhodes operations, the latter of which is nearly 200 years old.

The remaining divisions of Rhodes Interform, Craven Fawcett, Beauford Engineers, Rhodes Environmental and Hallamshire Engineering will now operate under a new structure headed by Group Rhodes parent company.

Managing director Mark Ridgway told the YEP it would remain business as usual for the remaining divisions and the approximately 80 members of staff who are left behind.

The restructure has been prompted by a combination of “significantly difficult trading conditions”, volatility in regions of the world in which it does business and compliance restrictions imposed on funding for the defence work that the company is involved in. This had resulted in a significant reduction in equity values followed by a rise in debt to unsustainable levels.

Mr Ridgway said: “Whilst this is a radical reorganisation, there was a substantial risk that the employees and stakeholders of the viable businesses would suffer losses in addition to those parts of the old group that had become fundamentally unviable.”

A member of staff who had lost his job in the restructure told the YEP that he was “devastated” by the cuts.

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