One of Britain's biggest suppliers to the construction industry dropped a bombshell on hundreds of workers today after announcing it was shutting depots across Britain and sacking hundreds of workers.
Hanson UK, which is based at Chipping Sodbury outside Bristol, supplies aggregates, asphalt, concrete, bricks, cement and other materials to the construction industry.
But it plans to mothball or close quarries at Shardlow, Tytherington, Sutton Courtenay, Hingston Down and South Molton.
Asphalt plants at Keepershield, Ystrad Meurig, St Ives and Tytherington will shut. And Hanson is axing its civil engineering arm.
The firm's concrete depots at Perth, Minfford, Blackpool, Stockport, Llantrisant and Tytherington will also shut, as will a brickworks at Accrington and a depot at Falkirk.
Clifford House, a corporate and staff functions centre at Wetherby in Yorkshire, is also to close. The GMB union, which covers workers involved in building materials production, fears more job losses and closures will follow.
National officer Allan Black said: "These further job losses across the UK in one of the key companies in building materials give the lie to the notion that the current recession, now in its sixth year, is over. Once closed these facilities are rarely or never brought back into production."