UPDATE: King’s Lynn glass firm Caithness Crystal to shut

Caithness Crystal was closed in Lynn on Monday

Caithness Crystal was closed in Lynn on Monday

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A Lynn glassmaker and visitor centre has announced it is to close, with the loss of 15 jobs.

A closing down sale at Caithness Crystal, based in Paxman Road on the Hardwick industrial estate, will begin next week and an online auction of its assets will take place in early February.

Mystery surrounds why Caithness Crystal was closed on Monday, January 18

Mystery surrounds why Caithness Crystal was closed on Monday, January 18

A statement released this morning said: “It is with regret that the Directors have had to take the decision to close Caithness Crystal (King’s Lynn) Limited which has been associated with Kings Lynn for many years.

“The company provides an attraction to both tourists and locals by way of a glassmaking experience, a restaurant and a gift shop.

“The business has struggled since the recession and other factors such as the major roadworks to the Hardwick Roundabout which also affected traffic flows, and consequently visitor

numbers which have never recovered.

“Subsequently there has been increased competition from the national and local retailers in the

vicinity, the changing attitudes of customers in buying habits and competition via the internet has resulted in the business not being able to cover overheads from the expected sales levels and subsequent profits generated.

“Unfortunately all 15 members of staff have been made redundant and we have appointed RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP to assist us with our closure plans.”

North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham said a short time ago: “I want to pay tribute to the enormous contribution that Caithness Crystal has made both to our local economy, and to our local tourism sector over so many years.

“They will be sorely missed, but my main priority today is to help the high skilled work force find alternative jobs.

“With this in mind, I have been in touch with the Job Centre to ask them to provide all possible guidance and advice.”

The company’s statement adds that any inquiries about its assets or business should be directed to Andy Nalliah of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP on 01733 260780.

A closing down sale will begin next Thursday, January 28, at 10am and run from 10am to 4pm each day until Sunday, January 31.

An online auction of the company’s remaining business assets, catering, glassblowing, shop fittings and stock will then take place on February 3 and 4.

The sale is being handled by the Thetford-based auctioneer, George Hazell and Co.

The closure announcement follows growing speculation about the company’s future in recent days.