Structural steel company John Reid & Sons Ltd (REIDsteel) has announced that it is temporarily suspending all operations with immediate effect.
The company is closing its manufacturing facility in Christchurch, Dorset, and all of its construction sites until further notice.
The decision comes in response to the escalating coronavirus pandemic. The company has also called for the Government to go even further in its national lockdown.
Managing director Simon Boyd said: “The welfare of our team, customers and suppliers is always our utmost priority.
“I cannot in all conscience sit working from home while sending people out to our manufacturing facility and to our construction sites. They should be at home with their families.
“This has not been an easy decision to make but these are unprecedented times. As a company we will do everything we can in our power to support our workforce, customers and suppliers through this difficult period.
“Over the last 100 years, the company has faced many difficult periods, including the Second World War, several recessions and the 2008 financial crisis and has always emerged stronger.
“Together we will get through this.”
Simon added: “I appreciate that the Government has many difficult choices to make. However it does appear that it is behind the curve. I would encourage Ministers to go even further with stronger measures to restrict movement and halt the spread of this virus.
“I hope our decision sets an example for other businesses in similar circumstances to our own. I would encourage them to consider their own position and make a decision in the best interest of the health and wellbeing of their employees, customers and suppliers.”
REIDsteel is based in Christchurch, Dorset, with 130 staff. It celebrated its centenary in 2019 and has exported to more than 140 countries to date. It is a four times winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise (International Trade).