Shocked workers were told that a leading gas supply fittings company is to move out of St Helens - with the potential loss of 216 jobs.
Shift workers at Crane Building Services and Utilities were told the news on Tuesday in the canteen at the Delta Road works in Parr.
The firm, which supplies gas distribution fittings, pipeline equipment and valves, intends to exercise a lease break option which would result in the manufacturing operation leaving the site by March 31 next year.
A company spokesman said: “Consultation with the 216 strong workforce has commenced and the company’s proposals, which include redundancy, will be discussed over forthcoming weeks.
“The St Helens site is an ageing facility with significant investment required to operate efficiently and to bring it up to world class manufacturing standards.
“The company owns other facilities in the UK which all have significant capacity for expansion and the company confirmed it would continue to invest into these facilities to sustain its world class manufacturing processes.”