A large business park that is home to 50 firms will close, leaving company owners “disgusted” and fearing for the future.
About 50 companies have received letters serving them notice to vacate the Imex Business Park, in Burton, by October 6 – after which the complex will close.
And one company owner has said having to move to another town or city would cost them £50,000 and mean they’d have to lay off apprentices.
Owner of the site, Hansteen Holdings PLC, says the “run-down” estate has become “economically unviable” as half of the buildings on the site are vacant.
Malcolm Hull, who has run Industrial Cranes and Parts from the Imex for 17 years, said the eviction would cost him up to £50,000 and could see his apprentices laid off.
He was “disgusted” to find out about the move in a chat with estate agents during a site meeting rather than from Hansteen.
Mr Hull, who employs six workers, said: “I was on site on Friday with an estate agent and they asked where I was based. When I said the Imex, they said ‘Oh, so you must have had your notice through then’.
“I told them I didn’t have a clue what they were on about, but the following day letters were sent out to say we had three months to move off the site.
“It’s disgusting. I’ve been here 17 years and I know the people who run the site, but they’d not said a word to us about this.
More news: Discount furniture store Silly Sids has returned
“You’d ring the head office of Hansteen and no-one would tell you anything. It’s just the most disgusting way to tell people. I can’t describe how disgusted I am.
“I’ve told two apprentices here that I can’t keep employing them if we have to move to another town or city. They’re only 16 and won’t be able to travel. I’ve not slept for the last three days and we haven’t even been given official word as to why the sale’s going through.
“We can’t take any contracts on while we’re moving, so we’ll lose work and I’m far from happy with the impression that’ll give our clients. Some of them are already getting aggravated about it.”
Jon Williams, joint owner of Moonshine Motors, said he feared his company’s eviction would force it to cease trading.
He said: “We’ve got cars at various stages of reconstruction and will have nowhere to finish them off. Our clients are as concerned about the situation as we are.
“We’ve only made £60 this week because we’ve been away from the workshop looking for a new place to trade – and there just isn’t anywhere for a workshop like ours. We’ve been trading here six years and it’s like a big family here, with all the companies helping each other out.
“The bosses haven’t even spoken to us and we’re still unaware as to why they’re closing the park. All we’ve had is a letter basically saying ‘get out by October 6’. I’ve got six children to support and at the moment we fear we’re going to be out of business.”
More news: Here’s why we’re all better off working in Derby for the next 10 years
A Hansteen spokesman said: “Being 50 per cent vacant and very old, the site has become economically unviable as it costs more money to run than we’re receiving in rents.
“Despite our best efforts, with it being quite a run-down estate, we’ve been unable to rent out the vacant units.
“All tenants, some of whose leases were coming to an end anyway, will be leaving and we are now considering what to do with the site.
“No agreement has been reached with any buyer and there are a number of options to consider.”
“The site manager will be made redundant, while two privately-contracted caretakers are expected to be redeployed elsewhere.
More news: HS2 will run over Long Eaton on viaduct and have station at Toton
“There are approximately 50 businesses on the site, some of which have taken out more than one tenancy.
“Eviction notices were sent out on Friday and the estate agent Mr Hull refers to was aware of proceedings because he had been asked not to offer out any more of the vacant units.”
Source: Derby Telegraph