AWARD winning Burnley-based window system company VEKA has announced that significant job losses are likely as the company grapples with the post lockdown economic climate.

VEKA, which was crowned best manufacturing company in the region by the Red Rose Awards last year and employs around 380 local people, had previously had to close its UK operations and place staff on furlough since March this year.

The company was able to reopen on May 11, however the effect that the pandemic has had on the local economy has significantly reduced sales force directors to contemplate significantly rescaling the business.

Managing director Dave Jones said: “Having taken all available options to us to ensure our business remains sustainable, we are now forced to take more prudent approach to all company expenditure and to review the resource requirements in light of this predicted drop in sales.

“That said, at this stage we cannot confirm exact numbers of potential redundancies, however we will continue to monitor situation on a daily basis throughout the process.”

He added: “This is not the year we, the board of directors, had planned for VEKA plc in 2020 and we are disappointed that COVID-19 has had such an impact on our economy, industry and business despite the strong support packages from the government and saddened that this will ultimately result in losing valued employees”

The news will come as a bitter blow, not just to Burnley but to the entire region which will depend on firms like VEKA to spearhead the post virus recovery.

Chief executive of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce Miranda Barker said: “It’s really a pity, they’re really part of the culture in Burnley and they’ve been great partners with the council so obviously they’re not doing this lightly.

“It’s a really worrying sign because businesses have been holding up fairly well up to this point but this is now the beginning of organisations coming back from lockdown so it’s a real moment of concern.”

Ms Barker’s warning was echoed by Burnley MP Anthony Higgenbotham.

He said: “The GDP figures released last week showed the impact of Covid-19 and it’s devastating to see these figures translate into local job losses.

“We’re making progress in tackling the virus and it’s in retreat across the country, so we need to double down on finding ways to restart the economy.”

The company will confirm the number of the number of redundancies at a later date.