ONE of East Lancashire’s largest companies could be set to cut up to 174 jobs because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Workers at Senator, in Altham, were told by bosses that they were considering reducing their workforce.

It comes after the office furniture manufacturer announced four months ago they also would be cutting back their workforce by a tenth, with the loss of around 140 jobs.

At the time, it was reported the reduction of the 140 jobs would take the workforce to around 1,300, with half still working at their HQ on Altham Business Park.

Mark Davies, Senator's group operations director, says the move will protect the future of the remaining 1,100 staff there.

He said: “We have completed the consultation on site and we are now doing individual consultation with those at risk.

“We hope that the process will be completed by the end of September.

“In terms of the workforce at the end of the process we will still employ over 1,100 and have been going for 45 years and this is about about protecting those jobs.

“We are still one of the largest employers in Lancashire and will continue to be the largest office furniture employer in the UK.

“We are here for the long term. Unfortunately office furniture has been affected by the pandemic.

“We have had to adapt our offering because of Covid and the current climate to do a lot of home working and we are creating furniture for that as well as Covid-secure furniture so we can grow in the future.

“Also we have done some fitting out for the Nightingale Hospital and we will be continuing to work with the NHS.”

Sara Britcliffe, MP for Hyndburn, said: “The news of job losses in Hyndburn is not what we want to see. It is important that local authorities work together to make sure that help people who are affected by the news of redundancies and do what we can to support them in these difficult times.”

Cllr Miles Parkinson, leader of Hyndburn Council, said: “Of course it is very disappointing to the workforce and those families affected by this news which is down to economic climate that businesses are having to take drastic measures.

“We have to make sure from the council point of view we make important representations to Government to ensure people get support. Hyndburn is one of the most deprived areas in the country and we worry about it. We have to ask the Government to help local businesses who are trying work in the area.”