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80 made redundant as Johnson Service Group shuts its Newmarket workwear factory

Eighty people are set to lose their jobs after a major textiles firm announced it is to close its Newmarket factory.

Johnson Service Group is to close its Exeter Road workwear factory, and has handed out redundancy notices to its staff as part of a company restructure.

In a trading update to the London Stock Exchange last night the company said its workwear division was expecting lower sales because of increased uncertainty sparked by fears of further lockdowns.

Johnsons Service Group, Newmarket (43177846)
Johnsons Service Group, Newmarket (43177846)

"As a result of the increased spare capacity we have created at nearby workwear sites, we have announced the closure of our Newmarket site, which is one of our smaller workwear sites and our only mixed economy facility," the update said. "Work is currently in the process of being transferred to neighbouring sites."

It is only the Newmarket factory which is set to close, but the company will cut 200 jobs in total across the Johnson workwear division by the New Year.

The Exeter Road site has a long history as a laundry and dry cleaner. As Hopkinson's Laundry it was owned by one time district councillor Morris Hopkinson. It was then owned by Cannon Textile Care, before being taken over by the Johnson Group.

Johnsons Service Group, Newmarket (43177836)
Johnsons Service Group, Newmarket (43177836)

Peter Egan, the chief executive, said the past three months performance had been a mixed picture and praised staff for their work, and added the workwear business had started to return to pre-Covid levels.

"We have taken the right steps to manage our cost base and maintain a firm foundation for Johnson Service Group, with the strength of balance sheet and flexibility of resources and operations to provide for future strong returns when the recovery emerges," he said.

The closure of the Newmarket factory and the company restructure is going to cost the group £6 million.

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