Family-run firm halves workforce after funding muddle
A FAMILY-RUN insulation company is having to lay off almost half of its 100-strong workforce after funding from the energy industry was cut.
Warm Space, in Rushey Platt, was among firms nationally which provided insulation to homes in order for the industry to meet carbon emissions targets set by the Ofgem regulator.
It had carried out work on 2,500 properties a month.
The energy companies’ targets for cutting carbon emissions were missed in December but, to mitigate fines they faced for this, they provided a number of insulation providers across the county with “transition” funding until a new funding scheme was due to come into effect.
But the transition funding ceased without warning on January 10 and Warm Space now faces having to make 44 per cent of its workforce redundant.
Managing director John Hennessy said: “At 1.30pm on January 10 we were given notification that, for reasons best known to the energy companies, there would be no more funding, with immediate effect.
“At 7am the following morning our staff were at the risk of redundancy.
“There’s no pleasure in standing up in front of 100 people and telling them you are about to take their income away from them.
“There will be horrible knock-on effects for the families of our staff.
“It’s an awful situation to be in brought about by outside circumstances over which we have no control whatsoever.”
The Green Deal, a Government initiative which will reduce carbon emissions and broaden the type of work insulation companies can carry out, was introduced on Monday, two months late, but the gap in funding has led to a crisis across the insulation industry.
Industry groups say job losses have risen to 4,000, with another 1,350 people on notice.