BOSSES at Caparo Aluminium Technologies in Wollaston say plans to move out of the borough have failed and up to 40 jobs are now under threat.
The company, which nearby residents say has been causing pollution “hell” for the last few years, was set to relocote to Shropshire - after chiefs admitted they could not meet the conditions of a Dudley Council imposed operating permit.
But plans to transfer work to the Grainger & Worrall factory in Bridgnorth have fallen flat and Caparo managing director Kevin Beaton announced this morning that the multi-national firm’s Stourbridge operation now looks set to cease altogether - with the loss of all jobs at the Wollaston Road site.
He said: “It is with deep regret that Grainger & Worrall have been unable to gain the full customer support needed that would have made the transfer of work to their site in Bridgnorth financially viable for them.
“Caparo Alumiunium Technologies is therefore proposing the closure of operations at the Stourbridge site and regrettably all employees will be affected.”
If the plan goes ahead casting work at the factory will finish by Christmas, leaving most workers heading for the dole queue.
Any further processing would be halted by the end of January and the plant, which makes car parts for top clients including Aston Martin and Mercedes, would be completely shut down by March 2011.
Mr Beaton said a 30-day consultation with staff and trade unions was now underway and the company would continue to liaise with the Caparo Group over job opportunities for those affected.
Meanwhile residents living nearby, who have been at their wits’ end since 24-hour production began at the site a few weeks ago, say the decision to close Caparo altogether is “very, very regrettable”.
Steve Sharples, chairman of the Caparo Action Group, said the obnoxious smells and noise emitted from the plant has made life for people in Apley Road, Platts Crescent and Holly Bush Lane “pure hell”.
But he added: “We totally regret the factory closing. This is something we didn’t want - we can’t stress that enough.
“We wanted them to comply with the permit and become a neighbourhood company with neighbourhood policies, but they couldn’t afford to.”