300 jobs to go as SKF confirms Luton factory closure in 2024

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The company has been in the town for more than 100 years

A Luton manufacturing company has finally announced it will close its doors – after more than 100 years in the town.

SKF, which manufactures roller bearings, revealed plans in May to move its operations to Poland, by the end of 2024.

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The Luton factory employs approximately 300 people and will be closed for production by the end of 2024 in a staged process.

SKF has announced it is to close, with a loss of 300 jobsSKF has announced it is to close, with a loss of 300 jobs
SKF has announced it is to close, with a loss of 300 jobs

In a statement the company said: “Following a consultation process with employees and union representatives, SKF confirms the proposed closure of its factory in Luton, UK. The proposal was made in May 2023 as part of a consolidation of the Group’s spherical roller bearing manufacturing to secure the long-term competitiveness on the European markets.”

Sarah Owen, MP for Luton North, who campaigned against the closure, said: “The news that SKF’s Sundon Park factory will be closing by the end of 2024 is another major blow for the manufacturing sector in our town. Manufacturing does not just represent jobs in Luton but it is a proud part of our history and what should have been our future: green industries, leveraging new technologies and creating more sustainable skilled manufacturing jobs. Proper economic oversight could have seen more growth and more jobs.

"Unfortunately, under-investment and lack of any long-term industrial strategy from Government has cost towns like ours and once again left people in Luton paying the price. Working people should not be asked again and again to suffer because of Conservative economic mismanagement. It does not have to be this way – and the only way to a more secure future is a change of government.”

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Michael Crean, managing director SKF (U.K.) Limited, said: “This is a very sad day for everyone, and I would like to thank our Luton factory colleagues for their dedication and hard work and recognise the many generations before them who contributed to the success of the factory. Our attention remains fully focused on supporting our employees and providing assistance across all aspects as individually needed.”

David Johansson, president, Industrial Region Europe Middle East and Africa, says: “On behalf of the full management team of SKF, I want to thank all our employees in Luton for their many years of commitment and dedication.”