Six jobs are being lost in Shetland with the closure of Moulded Foams’ factory in Lerwick, which made polystyrene boxes for the fish farming industry.
The company said its operation at the SBS Base was no longer viable. It stopped making boxes about two weeks ago and shipped out the machinery from its rented building last week. It will cease business in Shetland on Wednesday when its last workers will go.
The company styles itself the UK’s “leading designer and manufacturer of cellular foam solutions” and it has four other factories. Recently it lost major salmon-farming customers in Shetland who switched to the only other polystyrene box maker in the islands, locally owned Thulecraft.
Ironically, Thulecraft had suffered when Moulded Foams, then called DCB Mouldings, set up its rival factory in Shetland in 2004, reputedly at the behest of a big salmon farming company.
A spokesman for Moulded Foams at its headquarters in Cumbernauld declined to discuss reasons for the company pulling out of Shetland other than referring to its website, which announced: “Trading volumes in 2009 have been low and are forecast to remain so for some time. At these levels, the business is no longer viable as a stand-alone operation. Where possible, we will continue to support our customers from our plant in Cumbernauld.
“We wish our employees every success in securing employment elsewhere and our customers a swift return to previous business levels and thank them for their support during our time there.”
The website also reveals that the company invested £750,000 in Shetland in 2004 and planned to spend more in the islands during 2007.
Moulded Foams was formed in 2007 after DCB bought the moulded foam business of LINPAC, which added factories at Tonypandy in Wales and Scunthorpe in England to its main base in Cumbernauld and its Shetland operation. It opened a new foam factory in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, last year.
Among its products the company manufactures foam parts for cars and other vehicles as well as for constructing and insulating houses and for packaging.