Mystery after 59 workers lose jobs at Keighley firm Fuzzwire

Mystery surrounds the future of a Keighley firm which is said to have closed with the loss of nearly 60 jobs.

Administrators in Bristol were said to be aware of difficulties experienced by Fuzzwire, which supplies giant festive decorations, but it could not be confirmed that they had been appointed to take on the business.

Yet workers say they are facing a bleak Christmas after being told on Tuesday that they were out of a job.

And calls to Fuzzwire's Aireworth Road premises went unanswered with the site locked and deserted.

A union boss said workers out of a job needed to act quickly to get payouts but warned: "They might not get anything over Christmas."

It is understood that FRP Advisory LLP, which is based in Bristol but has an office in Leeds, has been appointed administrators and that representatives were at Fuzzwire. FRP, however, could not confirm this or the nature of the involvement.

One Fuzzwire employee – who did not want to be named – said staff had been told their jobs had gone with 59 people being made redundant.

"I have been there for five years so it's a bitter pill to swallow," he said. "This has been badly handled. We knew it could happen if an investor wasn't found.

"Now I'm unemployed with a young family. Everyone is very upset."

Fuzzwire's status on the Companies House website continued to be 'active' this week although a spokesman said the firm's accounts were overdue. "The returns were due on October 31," she said. "But we have yet to receive them. However, this would not prompt us to chase them up at this stage."

Companies House said there was nothing to suggest Fuzzwire had closed and was unaware of administrators being called in.

The Fuzzwire website was still available yet telephone calls were not being answered and the premises appeared to be locked up and closed.

Keighley TUC president Steve Davison said: "It's all very mysterious. I have been trying to get information about this. It's all erupted very quickly."

Mr Davison is also secretary of the district’s branch of Unite but doubts many Fuzzwire workers are in his union. "These people need advice very quickly," he said. "Effectively, they could be owed quite a bit of money."

He said anyone needing advice should contact the local TUC. "We will try to help," he said.

Fuzzwire's business includes supplying giant festive decorations to shopping malls such as Meadowhall and the Metro Centre in Gateshead.

In June, the company announced it was closing a factory in Prudoe in Northumberland with the loss of 45 jobs. But it said the Keighley factory would stay open, with the creation of 20 extra jobs. The company was set up in 2012 through the merger of Keighley-based LDJ Design and Centre Design at Prudoe.

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