Jobs boost for Preston as heating company announces manufacture is moving from Norwich

Baxi Heating's site in Bamber Bridge
Baxi Heating's site in Bamber Bridge
Share this article

Preston could be getting a jobs boost with the announcement that a major manufacturing contract is moving to the area.

Baxi Heating Ltd has announced that production of water cylinders and electric water heaters currently made in Norwich will be moving to the area.

The move is part of a restructuring at the home boiler maker which will see the closing of the aluminium foundry at its site in Club Street, Bamber Bridge.

The company said this will free up space at Bamber Bridge allowing the transfer of the water cylinder work.

A company spokesman said: “Our intention is to grow our market positions across all brands and it is therefore important that the business prepares for the many challenges and opportunities that are presented by the UK’s heating market.

“We have now successfully launched a new generation of compact boilers that use stainless steel heat exchangers. This, and the strategic decision to outsource aluminium heat exchangers used in some older boiler types, has led us to take the decision to close the Preston foundry in 2019.”

The aluminium foundry was the centre of smells complaints by neighbours in 2010.

The spokesman said the Norwich site would be closed if the proposals go through and added: “The proposed closure of the Norwich site would also result in the consolidation of R&D activity at Preston and the transfer of other support activities to other UK locations.

"This proposal would require significant investment in the Preston site and is supported by our parent company, BDR Thermea Group. It would result in an overall increase in employment on site.

“We recognise that these actions will have significant implications for our colleagues in Norwich and Preston. However, we firmly believe that they are necessary to make the company stronger and to place it in the best position to face the future.”

Baxi was founded in 1866 by Richard Baxendale and became noted for home boiler engineering.

READ MORE: Descendant of heating firm dies after illness

It owned Preston North End between 1994 and 2002 under chairman Bryan Gray.