Closure of engineering firm ‘a major loss to borough’

In administration: The Rotary engineering facility in Mallusk.
In administration: The Rotary engineering facility in Mallusk.

THE closure of the long-established Rotary engineering firm in Mallusk has been described as “a major loss to the borough.”

More than 60 workers at the company’s Trench Road facility lost their jobs last Wednesday (August 1) after the business went into administration.

The mechanical and electrical engineering firm, founded by the Jennings family in the 1950s, was bought by Australian company Hastie for more than £100million in 2008. Rotary UK’s bases in Mallusk, Chester, Livingston, Leeds, Newcastle and London had been under threat since Hastie collapsed several months ago.

Earlier this week a small number of office staff were still present at the Trench Road site, but one former employee told the Times that the entire workforce has been made redundant.

A spokesman for administrators FTI Consulting confirmed that 66 people were employed at Rotary Mallusk, but refused to make any further comment on the job losses or the future of the facility.

4th Utility Limited, a subsidiary of leading UK engineering firm Lorne Stewart Plc, this week acquired Rotary Limited’s 100 per cent shareholdings in Rotary North West Limited, Rotary Yorkshire Limited, Rotary Southern Limited and Sothers (Holdings) Limited, which will continue to be run as independent regional businesses. However, FTI Consulting said that the Mallusk arm of the business was not part of the sale.

“Chad Griffin and Simon Kirkhope of FTI Consulting LLP were appointed joint administrators over Rotary Limited and certain other group companies, to effect the sale and wind down separate Rotary companies in other parts of the UK including Northern Ireland, Scotland and Newcastle which did not form part of the transaction,” a statement issued by FTI read.

Voicing his regret that Rotary has closed its Newtownabbey operation, Deputy Mayor Fraser Agnew said: “The firm is a major loss to the borough, having operated here for over 60 years. As an employer Rotary offered key opportunities to the local workforce and provided innovative and sustainable products and services to a wide customer base.

“The loss of 60 jobs is of great concern for those involved and the council, through its Economic Development Team, is keen to provide support and signposting services to improve skills development and future employment opportunities.”

Read the full story in this week’s Times...