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Award-winning factory to close with loss of 35 jobs

The company's base in Onchan

The company's base in Onchan

The island has been hit by another blow with the loss of 35 jobs at CVI Technical Optic Ltd.

The specialist award-winning firm is closing for good at its base in Second Avenue, Onchan.

Jim McDaniel from the firm’s parent company in America confirmed the news.

He told the Manx Independent that ‘sadly’ the decision had been taken to ‘shut the factory down’ with 35 employees losing their jobs.

The factory will shut its doors by the end of the first quarter of next year.

Florida-based Mr McDaniel, who flew to the factory this week, blamed ‘duplication of manufacturing capabilities’ around the world within the CVI group.

He added that around one third of the workforce had already found jobs with other businesses.

The news comes just days after airline Flybe announced that 49 jobs would be lost when it pulls out of its Isle of Man base next March and 30 were laid off at the Mount Murray Hotel after a fire destroyed 90 bedrooms on the site.

And on top of that Six Kingdoms, a company offering a call centre and administration facilities, announced it was making 20 redundancies.

In 2008 CVI in Onchan scooped the award for innovation and independent thinking at Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence. The company, which manufactures high-energy laser optics, also won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in that year.

More recently it was reported how components produced by CVI were used to analyse rocks found in Mars by NASA spacecraft.

Jim McDaniel told the Independent everything had been done to try and prevent the closure of the Onchan facility.

He praised the Onchan team for the way they had rallied and were working on to fulfill existing orders. He added some employees had been with the firm for many years. ‘This is sad news and no decision like this is taken lightly.’

‘Five or six’ of those losing their jobs will be going to a new company called Manx Precision Optics Limited.

The company is run by Dr Helmut Kessler. He started the company earlier this year after he himself had been made redundant from CVI a year ago after working there for more than 17 years.

He said he was delighted he could now offer employment for people who were his former team colleagues.

l More on Dr Kessler’s new business in Business News in Monday’s Examiner.

 

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