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Jobs fears as East Lancs opticians sells Euro stores
MORE than 70 jobs in East Lancashire could be lost as a family-run optical firm after decided to sell up.
The owners of Crown Eyeglass, an international opticians founded in Blackburn in 1984, said they were in talks with potential buyers of its factory and 14 shops in the UK.
The 75 workers based in the laboratory and opticians in Glenfield Park, Blackburn, and three staff at a store in Flat Iron Parade, Chorley, could face redundancy.
Martin Lee, financial director at the company, said that himself, his father and two brothers, who form the company’s board, wanted to sell it and retire.
The company has already sold its 35 European stores to Hans Anders, an optics retail chain based in the Netherlands.
More than 60 technicians who make the company’s glasses will have job security until May, when Crown Eyeglass will cease supplying the product.
Coun Dave Harling, executive member for regeneration at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “It’s just terrible for the area if these people lose their jobs.
“It is completely understandable for them to be concerned, as we are for them. The council will work with the company to try and safeguard the jobs.
“We will also try and help any staff made redundant.
“It’s fair to say this is an example of our country as a whole being in a bad position for unemployment. However in Blackburn we do have a number of companies who are going strong and even expanding.” Mr Lee said: “My father Joe, who founded the company, is 81 now, and doesn’t want to continue running the place. We were made an offer too good to refuse for our European branches.
“We are trying to find a company to take the lab and shops over as a going concern, but we’ll have to see what makes best financial sense.
“If we don’t find the right person to take it on as it is, all the staff will be made redundant.”
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