“It is a blow, but we keep going” - Lowestoft’s fightback after job losses
- Credit: Nick Butcher
'It is a blow, but we keep going' - that is the message from community leaders today after the shock news that one of Lowestoft's oldest engineering firms is set to close, with the loss of 113 jobs.
AKD Engineering, which is based in Horn Hill and has been in operation for 60 years, announced that it would close in June after 'several years of substantial losses, compounded by the current downturn in the oil and gas sector'.
The announcement was described as a 'massive body blow' to workers, with AKD managing director Andrew Quayle saying: 'Our thoughts are with our dedicated employees and their families and we will do whhatever we can to assist them through this very difficult period.'
Danny Steel, who owns Ganaden Properties and is also chairman of the Lowestoft Vision Business Improvement District (BID) and the Lowestoft High Street Traders' Association, added: 'It is quite a blow for the town to lose a business that has been around for so long.'
However he said: 'It is a blow, but we keep going' - and urged residents nnot to lose faith in the continued efforts by business and community leaders to improve and grow the town.
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He said the town is growing and improving all the time, with new businesses continuing to move into the area - pointing to the fact he had been speaking to one business recently about opening up a new restaurant in the area.
The Waveney district has also seen a huge fall in unemployment in the last five years, with a 45 per cent drop in the number of people out of work.
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'The improvement is not all going to be in one direction,' Mr Steel said. 'There may be five steps forward and one step back - that happens. You can't expect it to be all positive.
'However it is all going in the right direction.'
See the full story in today's Lowestoft Journal.