THE BOSS of a company planning to move a historical Keighley business to Halifax said the decision to do so had been difficult but will safeguard the business.

Dean Smith & Grace (DSG), which manufactures, services and repairs lathes, is to be moved to Halifax by its parent company Machine Tool Technology Group (MTTG).

Several of the firm’s 17 employees are facing redundancy.

MTTG's group chief executive, Carl Griffiths, of Silsden, confirmed the move at the weekend, but stressed the group is committed to maintaining and growing DSG’s international reputation.

He said: “We are very conscious of the DSG legacy in Keighley, but this move will bring all our operations together in one place to develop two recently-launched DSG products more efficiently.

“When we bought DSG, there was no drawing office operation. Now we have systems engineers and a drawing office in Halifax. Such decisions are never easy, but Building a successful business sometimes involves tough decisions. We are currently in discussions about potential redundancies, which will affect fewer than ten of the DSG workforce.”

DSG, based in leased premises in Pitt Street, Parkwood, was subject to a management buyout in 2005, went into administration in 2008 but was subsequently bought by Newsmith Stainless Ltd. MTTG acquired the assets of DSG in 2012. At its height, the company had more than 1,000 employees and also operated a foundry.

Keighley East Ward councillor, Doreen Lee, said: “DSG has been part of the Parkwood scene for a number of years and its name has been synonymous with Keighley – like Prince Smith and Hattersley’s used to be.

“It’s been one of Keighley’s biggest engineering firms, and I’ve had relatives who’ve worked there over the years. It’s a real shame to see it leaving, and I think it’s just another loss for Keighley.”

Her fellow east ward councillor, Malcolm Slater, said: “It’s sad the long-established firm of DSG is relocating from Keighley. Margaret Thatcher’s time in power caused a steep downturn of British manufacturing. But I was aware and proud, when growing up in Keighley, of the world renown of this and other engineering companies, and their contribution to the town’s economy.”

The news was greeted with sadness last week by the president of Keighley Trades Union Council, Steve Davison, and Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for Keighley, John Grogan.

Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate, Kris Hopkins, also voiced concern, but pointed out Keighley still has a strong manufacturing sector.