Jobs lost at Northumberland fishing firm

From the Northumberland Gazette.
From the Northumberland Gazette.

Six people have been made redundant from an Alnwick fishing manufacturer, but there are no plans for further changes and the firm remains committed to the town.

The six jobs have been lost at Pure Fishing, which bought the Hardy and Greys brands almost two-and-a-half years ago, taking over the South Road site as its UK head office.

However, up until now, the trend since the takeover had been for growth and new jobs with around 40 people taken on in both the fishing and composites sides of the business in Alnwick as well as through the expansion of the firm’s warehouse at Cramlington.

Today, Grant Harris, managing director of Pure Fishing, said: "We have enjoyed tremendous growth and success with a number of key customers over recent years and we were extremely busy last year recruiting additional staff to fulfil those orders.

"Unfortunately, one of our major customers has now taken the decision to source a second supplier, leading to a reduction in our volumes, which has meant we have been forced to lose six staff from our production team.

"We continue to develop our business from Alnwick and have a number of new opportunities and development initiatives in the pipeline to achieve our growth targets over the next few months and years.

"We remain committed to our head office base in Alnwick, where we have a great team of highly-skilled staff. We are not planning any further changes in the immediate future and are working with those six who have been impacted by this to help them find alternative employment."

In July 2013, Hardy and Greys and its subsidiary, Hardy Advanced Composites, was sold to US-based Pure Fishing, Inc. – a leading global provider of fishing products – for an undisclosed sum. At the time, a company spokesman said it was keen to maintain Alnwick as the headquarters of the business and there had been no discussion about any reorganisation or job losses.

However, just three months later, staff were told that up to 10 jobs were at risk, which came around two years after the company cut more than a quarter of its workforce and managing director Richard Sanderson resigned.

In December last year, Mr Harris told the Gazette that the loss-making business had been transformed into one that had seen growth in the previous two years, the taking on of a number of new employees and a return to producing reels and rods in the Alnwick plant after this was outsourced to Asia more than a decade ago.

“In terms of revenue, we have almost doubled the size of the business and Hardy Advanced Composites has grown five-fold," he said, but added: "Fishing is our core business, which is difficult at the moment, but we have seen growth in the last two years. Business is business; you have got to be positive, but you still have to be mindful that it is difficult out there. Confidence hasn’t been restored to what it was before 2008, but we are in a better position than we were last year.”