FENLAND: Job losses announced at Edwards Buildbase as the recession begins to bite

BY MAGGIE GIBSON MARCH branch of Edwards Buildbase is closing before Christmas with the loss of five jobs. The Station Road site is being mothballed due to the current economic downturn and the company hopes customers will use the Wisbech branch where it

BY MAGGIE GIBSON

MARCH branch of Edwards Buildbase is closing before Christmas with the loss of five jobs.

The Station Road site is being mothballed due to the current economic downturn and the company hopes customers will use the Wisbech branch where it is business as usual. The delivery service has already been running from Wisbech for the past few months.

Regional director of Buildbase John Clarke confirmed: "Basically we are closing March and five staff unfortunately will be made redundant.

"However, we have a bigger branch in Wisbech which will be looking to take up the business. They have more facilities and a wider stock range."

The future of the large site, which has been occupied by builder's merchants for many years under various names including Millers, is uncertain.

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Mr Clarke said the options included re-opening if the "fragile and dormant" economy picked-up or selling off the site for development subject to planning permission.

Ridgeons Group Ltd, which has a branch in March, is also cutting jobs across the area. It is understood five employees at March have already been notified they will be losing their jobs.

Although the company was unavailable to comment at the time of going to press it is thought the job losses involve three security staff, one lorry driver and a maintenance worker.

Last week Ridgeons stressed that job cuts would not result in the closure of any branches. Group Chairman Anne Ridgeon said: "We deeply regret the need to propose this course of action. However, due to the continued decline in the market and the worsening economic forecasts, particularly for the construction industry, a major cost reduction programme is essential at this time.

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