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Hundreds of jobs saved at factory

A BEDDING manufacturer, hailed as an “asset to the community” in Aspatria, has been saved from closure, protecting the jobs of 267 Cumbrians.

Tempur Sealy have re-acquired the rights and assets to manufacture and market Sealy and Stearns & Foster products from current licensee Silentnight Group.

The Aspatria site was earmarked for closure in May but its future has been secured with the purchase which was announced on Friday. The consultation period was extended in late August when a potential third-party buyer emerged.

In a video message on Friday, MP for Workington Mark Jenkinson said: “I’m pleased to find out today that a purchase has been secured. We’ve been working closely with stakeholders including current owner Silentnight, the new owner Tempur Sealy, Allerdale Borough Council and Cumbria Partnerships to secure that purchase and to enable the protection of those jobs.”

Mr Jenkinson told the News & Star: “It wasn’t just about 260 jobs, it’s about families. This has been at the top of my to-do list every week – most weeks I’ve had some involvement with senior officers.”

He added: “It really is intertwined with the community in Aspatria and they’re a fantastic asset to the community.”

Although the factory was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, the site was previously in danger of closure.

Mr Jenkinson said: “It has certainly hastened decisions – there’s been a bit of a cloud hanging over the Aspatria site for a few years. Some of its services had been outsourced. Some of that has already started to come back in.”

The acquisition of rights to trade in the UK was a move from Tempur Sealy International to “develop, expand and reposition Sealy products in one of the largest bedding markets in Europe”.

Tempur Sealy chairman and CEO Scott Thompson said: “We identified that the premium innerspring segment in the United Kingdom market is not being fully served. We believe we have brought together the right people, brands and strategy to satisfy the market’s needs.

“Sealy is the number one brand in the United States, and we believe this transaction will significantly improve our competitive position in the United Kingdom for generations to come.

“I would also like to acknowledge the Silentnight Group for their strong management of the Sealy brand in the United Kingdom over the last 47 years and thank our joint venture partners, the Dyer Family, for working with us on this new growth opportunity.”

An agency worker at Sealy Beds, Ryan Plaskett of Workington, said on social media: “It’s a great place to work, best job I’ve ever had. Everyone is down to earth and easy to get along with.

“There’s multiple jobs there so there are different opportunities. The hours are great especially for those with children.

“I’m over the moon it’s been saved.”

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