French materials group will close Derbyshire pipe manufacturing business in April

Around 220 UK jobs are set to disappear after Saint-Gobain announced plans to close its British pipe manufacturing business in Ilkeston, Derbyshire.

The French materials group, which last year bought British plasterboard maker BPB, said the division would close in April and pipe manufacturing would move to other sites within its European Pipe Division.

Other Pipeline departments at Ilkeston such as customer service will remain as will Saint-Gobain’s sites in Melton Mowbray, Telford and West Bromwich.

A spokesperson said: “There has been a steady decline in the size of the UK water pipe market since the mid 1990s. Together with major increases in the cost of steel scrap (a raw material) and high energy costs, this has had a significant impact on the profitability of production.

“We have considered a wide range of options, but the plant at Ilkeston is highly specialised and not suitable for making other products. We strongly believe that the best way of sustaining the long-term competitiveness of the business and servicing our customers is to take advantage of the European resources of Saint-Gobain Pipelines.”