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Firm to close after Russia sales stop due to war

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A company which has operated in Hull for more than 160 years is being forced to close after it ceased sales to Russia because of the Ukraine war.

Fenner Dunlop makes conveyor belts used in mining and Russia was its largest market before the invasion.

The firm said 70 jobs would be lost at its Marfleet site, which was being wound down before full closure in 2023.

Hull MP Karl Turner has written to the prime minister urging support for affected staff.

Jim Jones, managing director for Fenner Dunlop Engineered Conveyor Solutions UK and India, said it was an "upsetting announcement" for employees.

He added: "But they have been living with uncertainty since the very start of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, so we wanted to give them some clarity as soon as possible."

The company said workers had unanimously accepted enhanced financial packages combined with support such as access to external recruitment and retraining services.

Mr Jones said the firm was "committed to supporting our employees throughout the entire process" and would "help them find positive outcomes".

In a letter to Rishi Sunak, Mr Turner described the loss of the skilled manufacturing jobs as "a devastating blow to the area during a cost-of-living crisis".

He added: "They will have to contend with being out of work in the new year because their company is doing the right thing by ceasing trading with a critical industry in Russia, while many others are not.

"Due to Vladimir Putin's brutal invasion, they are no longer in a position to supply their largest market."

The MP said the company, which was formed in 1861, had a "strong track record as an employer" in the city and he was "confident they will provide respectable support packages to their employees".

However, he said that did "not take away from the fact that these workers face a deeply uncertain future just before Christmas".

Mr Turner asked the PM to consider implementing a special scheme for workers who have "lost their jobs as a direct consequence of refusing to support Putin's illegal invasion of a sovereign state".

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