UPDATE: No hope for Langley Mill workers as Deloitte confirms Leaderflush won't re-open

Langley Mill firm Leaderflush Shapland has gone into administration and made nearly 400 employees redundant.
Langley Mill firm Leaderflush Shapland has gone into administration and made nearly 400 employees redundant.
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Desperate workers now out of the job have been told there is no hope for a buyer to save their company after the single worst jobs cut in the area for years.

Some 400 workers at a major Derbyshire Employer, Leaderflush Shapland were made redundant in December as the firm's parent company went into administration.

This newspaper understands that negotiations are ongoing following two bids from potential buyers to take on the Langley Mill manufacturer, but Deloitte says this will not mean the company stops winding down, and it is only selling off assets.

Deloitte's Richard Hawes said: “Despite the best efforts of the company, and ourselves, it was simply not possible to secure a buyer for this division.

"It is with regret that we announce the closure of Leaderflush Shapland today,”

“The Group has been under financial pressure for some time, restructuring in 2014, and Leaderflush Shapland has suffered significant on-going losses making trading unsustainable.”

UNITE representative Jim Southwell said negotiations were still ongoing with two bidders.

And as the livlihoods of some 300 former workers in Langley Mill and around 90 in Mansfield, local authorities and agencies have been praised for supporting them.

Mr Southwell added: "The Department for Work and Pensions through their rapid response service have held a meeting with chief partners, UNITE, local councils and Nigel Mills MP to discuss a support package with workers.

"They've all been excellent actually, they've really pulled their fingers out and all parties have come together to try and help."

The DWP has organised a special task group to provide an advice, support and information day on Thursday (January 14) at Alfreton Jobcentre for all the workers across Langley Mill and Mansfield, with support on offer from PensonWise, the Money Advice Cervice, CAB, UNITE, national careers service and Derbyshire Law Centre to advise on redundancy payments service.

Local employer partnership manager at the DWP Jackie Thompson said: “People are very worried about what are the next steps so this is to get through those concerns.

“We’ve had people coming in and making claims and asking questions, so there will be people there with information on looking for work, making a claim for benefits, jobsearch activities – and just support to get that dealt with so they can move onto the next stage.”

A careers event for the former Leaderflush workers is also arranged at Alfreton Leisure Centre on Friday, January 29, 10am-3pm, with employers interested in taking some workers on in like-for-like roles.

Door manufacturer Leaderflush Shapland, based in Milnhay Road, Langley Mill announced closure after it emerged it’s owner, interior furnishings group Laidlaw Interiors was being taken into administration by Deloitte, and it was the only subsidiary which hadn’t managed to find a buyer to take the business forward.

Workers are still hopeful that potential buyers could mean the local base continues and there may the possibility for some getting their jobs back, and the cuts rocked the community as one of the most important employers in the area, with workers from Ripley, Belper and Ilkeston.

Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills said: "I was very shocked to learn that Leaderflush Shapland fell into administration over the Christmas period, with the terrible result that more than 400 local people were made redundant.

"This is the biggest loss of jobs in the area since I became an MP in 2010 and the factory has been an important part of the community, particularly in Langley Mill.

"My priority is now to do everything I can to help find new employment for these people so they and their families can again have the security of a job and regular pay packet. I will be working with the Job Centres and other local employers to try to arrange a special Jobs Fair in the next few weeks and I would urge any people and employers who are interesting in attending to get in touch on the usual details, by emailing nigel.mills.mp@parliament.uk or calling 01773 744341.’

A Derbyshire County Council spokesman said: “We have been working with partners to organise events to support the employees that have been made redundant with advice about benefits and how to get back into employment.

“We will continue to support the former employees who can contact us by emailing welfarebenefits@derbyshire.gov.uk or by calling our benefits helpline on 01629 531535 which is open from 11.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.”