Disability employer’s factory in Leeds to close

Leeds City Council announced yesterday that disability employer Roseville Doors, which supplies doors and windows for a major council housing programme, will be closed down.

The factory is run by the council’s Environment and Neighbourhoods Directorate and has a workforce of 38, including 29 people with disabilities. The authority said staff would be helped to find alternative supported employment and those with more severe disabilities would receive more intensive help.

Management took the decision after they were unable to find alternative sources of income as the £1bn Leeds Housing Decency Programme – the business’s sole contractor – comes to and end. Orders are expected to dry up completely within the next three months.

A spokesperson said that staff had been informed of the closure this morning. An initial meeting has also taken place with the local branch of Remploy, which has been involved with the factory. Unions have also been informed.

Les Carter, executive board member for Environment and Neighbourhoods, stressed the council would not be abandoning the workers. He said: “It is in everyone’s interest that we ensure all staff are gainfully employed in constructive work which uses their talents and skills to the full.”

The door and window factory is part of Roseville Enterprises, a social enterprise that started life as a workshop for the blind. A laundry service run by the company, which also employs people with disabilities, has not been affected by the closure.

The announcement follows the closure of 29 Remploy factories during the last year, affecting 2,193 disabled people, as part of a modernisation programme.

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