BAD NEWS FOR BDG

Picture by Jeremy Marks 27/3/12
Picture by Jeremy Marks 27/3/12

ONE of Lurgan’s best known companies is to cease trading with the loss of around 50 jobs, it was announced this week.

Window and conservatory company BDG Group Ltd, confirmed that the directors have decided to place the business into Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation.

There are around 50 employees in the company and they were informed of the decision on Monday morning.

The ‘MAIL’ understands employees will only receive statutory redundancy payments.

An employee told the ‘MAIL’: “A lot of us have 30 plus years service but we have been told we have to apply for our entitlements from the Government.

“I am at my final tether, I am so disgusted.”

In a statement released after the ‘MAIL’ contacted the firm on Tuesday a spokesperson confirmed the news and said: “Professional advisors will be on site to assist employees to deal with any queries and to assist in making applications to statutory agencies for financial support and claims. The majority of staff will leave today [Monday] as production will largely cease.”

The spokesman said the decision to liquidate the business had been a difficult one to make. However, the company had sustained substantial losses over a prolonged period. Despite their best efforts to seek new customers and markets, the overall downturn in the construction industry has meant that the owners have been unable to sustain the company any longer. “A process to sell the business has so far been unable to find a buyer at an acceptable value.”

BDG is owned by Manderley Foods, which, among other companies, also owns Tayto but no other part of the group will be impacted by the closure.

Upper Bann DUP MLA Stephen Moutray expressed his sadness at the job losses.

Mr Moutray said: “Established in 1979, BDG is the oldest company in this sector anywhere in the province. It is also one of the most highly respected. This very sad news regarding such a long established and highly respected local company will come as a shock to many people. BDG Group Ltd is the province’s largest manufacturer of PVCu conservatories, windows and doors. It has become a household name across Northern Ireland. It has also exported to the US and the Far East.

“This very sad news will come as a blow to the local economy. But it is also a terrible blow to families.

“It is a further indication of the very severe world economic conditions that the UK is currently going through. There are many families both in Lurgan and right across Northern Ireland who are facing uncertain times. That is why the Chancellor’s recent budget statement, while it contained some good measures was also disappointing when it came to some of its content. The money set aside to reward the super rich could have been allocated in a way that could have brought more benefit to more people and actually helped the real economy.”

Councillor Colin McCusker said: “This is terrible news for the people of Lurgan, and especially the families of those employees directly affected. BDG has been trading in the Borough for over 30 years, and despite its success and expansion throughout that time, it has remained loyal to the town.

“BDG is just another victim of the economic downturn that has blighted the United Kingdom since the housing market collapse.

“However, given that Invest NI recently returned £39.1M of funding to the Stormont Executive, it begs the question, why are we not doing everything we can to support our local indigenous businesses. It appears to me that the policy structures of the Department of Trade and Investment and Invest NI are out of date, and have not adapted to the dire economic crisis that is facing this country. I would call on Arlene Foster to look again at her department, and do all she can to help save BDG and other companies facing similar problems.”

Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd expressed his disappointment at the news: “It is a disappointing day for Lurgan when an award winning Company with a thirty year trading record goes out of business. This closure will be a major blow to the town and the loss of fifty jobs will impact on the local economy. It is particularly sad that the fifty people in the firm’s employment are now faced with the prospect of redundancy.

“At this early stage it is unclear if anything can be done to save the company but I am willing to assist in any way I can to help procure new management and save the current jobs.”

The SDLP’s Dolores Kelly said: “I think it’s sad and bad news for all involved. This is symptomatic of the downturn in whole construction industry.

“It shows there is a great need to support small and medium enterprises.

“My heart goes out to the individuals affected and their families.”