A bombshell announcement that up to 10 jobs could be axed from a world-famous fishing firm in Alnwick has been described as disappointing and unwelcome.
Consultation has started with the workforce at Hardy and Greys about possible redundancies and the process will last throughout October.
It comes after the company and its subsidiary Hardy Advanced Composites were sold to Pure Fishing, Inc. earlier this year.
Jobs at risk are across the board, from the shop floor, to the offices and management.
The news has shocked and disappointed Alnwick’s two county councillors, Gordon Castle and Heather Cairns, while chairman of the town’s chamber of trade, Carlo Biagioni, labelled it a blow .
Explaining the company’s position, a spokesman said: “Following the acquisition by Pure Fishing, the company undertook a review of its total UK business. Until this was completed it was not in a position to comment on job security in Alnwick and it was very careful in the early stages to clarify that at that point no discussions had taken place regarding restructuring.
“This review has taken three months and the proposals coming out of it were communicated to employees last week.
“Almost as a separate issue over recent months demand for Alnwick-made rods and reels has declined and as such we are making an adjustment in manufacturing.
“However, during 2013 our net manufacturing workforce has increased as we have recruited a number of people for our composites business.
“Although the company regrets the potential loss of jobs the workforce, even with the potential reduction of 10 jobs, will be 15 per cent higher than the same time last year.
“The more fundamental point to come out of this review is that if it goes ahead it secures the future of the business in Alnwick.”
MP Sir Alan Beith said job losses would be regrettable and it was important that Hardy & Greys remains strong.