UK government's 40% cut to public housing budget forces timber frame manufacturer Howarth Timber Engineering to downsize site in Bury St Edmunds, cut 60 jobs; remaining 40 workers will service private sector homebuilders

LOS ANGELES , October 2, 2012 () – A 40% reduction in the UK government's public housing budget has impacted Howarth Timber Engineering, part of Howarth Timber Group Ltd., causing the company to shed 60 jobs, according to an Oct. 1 report by the Bury Free Press.

The jobs will be cut at Howarth Timber Engineering's location in Bury St Edmunds, which will move to a smaller site with the remaining 40 staff.  The branch will continue to manufacture structural components for floors and roofs, which accounts for 40% of its total operations. Most of those products are produced for the private homebuilding sector.

Leed-based Howarth Timber Group's managing director Nicholas Howarth said the cuts have only started to have a significant impact this year. He said more cuts were planned over the next two or three years, and the company had noted that its losses from the timber frame side of its business were growing.

Howarth added that the drop in the volume of timber frame business was not the only consideration, as the remaining work had become less profitable due to falling prices. "The contractors we were selling to are finding business very tough so they’re becoming very aggressive in making deductions and paying slowly,” he said.

The primary source of this article is Bury Free Press, Bury St Edmunds, England, on Oct. 1, 2012.

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