Disabled workers at Birmingham’s Remploy factory have been given new hope for the future after government said it expected to announce a buyer for the business in a ‘matter of weeks’.
The factory in Garretts Green – along with bases in Coventry and Derby – have attracted interest from a number of bidders, according to Minister for the Disabled Esther McVey.
She said the three factories, which make up the automotive part of the business, have received “good quality, innovative bids”. The move would save all 217 employees, including 179 disabled workers, at the sites.
Ms McVey said: “Over the next few weeks KPMG will be continuing commercial discussions with a number of bidders who have expressed an interest in acquiring the whole business and all employees based in sites in Birmingham, Coventry and Derby. They aim to have identified a preferred bidder in a matter of weeks.”
But the positive news for Birmingham came as it was revealed around 234 disabled workers are at risk of redundancy as nine further Remploy factories face closure.
Yesterday, Ms McVey said jobs for about 70 per cent of the 515 disabled employees in the remaining Remploy factories and CCTV sites could be saved after they attracted bids to take over the businesses.
Employees affected by possible redundancy will be supported by an £8million package of support to help them move into mainstream work, the minister told MPs.
Sites earmarked for closure are in Leven, Cowdenbeath, Stirling, Dundee, Clydebank, Norwich, Portsmouth, Burnley and Sunderland, affecting a total of 284 employees, including 234 disabled workers.
Ms McVey added: “We have always made it clear that this is about supporting the individuals in the factories, and disabled people across the country.
“£50 million was going into funding failing factories which meant £50million not available to support disabled people across the country.”