Curzon Holdings, the parent company of fit-out specialist Jarvis Newman, is to lay off one-seventh of its workforce.
The group will close its 4000 m2 joinery factory in Billingham, Cleveland, at the end of March with the loss of 50 jobs.

Curzon Holdings finance director Simon Charlick said: "Manufacturing has been under increasing pressure over the last few years from overseas. It is a small operation in terms of our finances."

Charlick said the factory would be sold or rented out to a third party. Jarvis Newman North's fit-out operations will continue to be based in Billingham.

The joinery division accounts for £3-4m of the £90m turnover the company forecasts for this financial year. Turnover in the 12 months to July 2002 was £65m but Jarvis Newman has since been bolstered by a series of acquisitions. The firm recently bought maintenance firm TCL Granby and furniture supplier WH Systems.

Discussing the company's last set of annual results in November, chief executive David Freeborn predicted the growth in turnover. He said: "That will happen as the impact of the new businesses we have acquired is felt.

"We are looking to grow Jarvis Newman despite the office market shrinking."

Jarvis Newman's high-profile clients include Barclays, British Home Stores and Jobcentre Plus, with which it agreed the fit-out of 15 centres for £9m in October.

The company has also fitted out hotels for the Rocco Forte and Six Continents chains.