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Transport jobs to go in Highbridge
TWO long-standing Highbridge companies could be forced to close with the loss of 18 jobs, it was revealed this week.
Caxton Transport, and Caxton Home Delivery deliver furniture for one of the Burnham and Highbridge area’s best known firms – Woodberry Brothers and Haines – which is based alongside them at the Walrow Industrial Estate.
Woodberry Bros director Mark Woodberry said his family-run firm, which has been operating since 1949, subsidises the two Caxton companies, but is no longer prepared to do so.
Mr Woodberry announced this week that Woodberry Bros is withdrawing funding from the Caxton firms as of next Tuesday to concentrate on its furniture-making business.
Mr Woodberry said the state of the economy and the industry was to blame.
He told the Weekly News: “As part of our ongoing improvement plan we have been assessing the different elements of the business.
“The distribution part is loss-making and Woodberry Brothers and Haines is no longer prepared to fund those losses.”
He added: “They [Caxton Transport and Caxton Home Delivery] were the sole distributors of the Woodberry Brothers and Haines products and subsidised in full by Woodberry Brothers and Haines.
“We have withdrawn funding to those companies.”
Caxton Transport, which has eight staff, has been operating for over 20 years, while Caxton Home Delivery, which has ten workers, has been running for more than a decade. Both delivered furniture nationwide.
Mr Woodberry added: “It’s never a nice decision to have to make. Both businesses are sad to lose any staff under any circumstances. We are thankful for the many years of service they have given.”
Mr Woodberry said Woodberry Bros would make a decision in the next few weeks on how its furniture will be distributed in future.
He added: “We are making it clear that Woodberry Bros is unaffected. We are upbeat and it’s important that our focus is on the manufacturing side.
“We will be making sure we do get through this tough period. We have never been shy of making tough decisions; our aim is always to future-proof the business.
“There have been some significant new customers that have come on board. We are expecting a better trading period.”