Published: 14:28, 12 March 2018
Scores of workers at a biotechnology company in Ashford are set to lose their jobs, it has been announced.
Thermo Fisher Scientific plans to relocate its operations in Leacon Road to existing facilities in Mexico, China and Denmark.
The company, which manufactures laboratory products, employs 170 people at the Fairwood Industrial Park.
Bosses say the plans to move the work abroad are currently a proposal and still need to be approved.
In a statement, they said: "The proposal would lead to the phased redundancy of approximately 170 Thermo Fisher staff employed in Ashford.
"We are beginning consultations with employee representatives on a collective basis.
"Should the proposal be approved, we will do everything we can to provide the support necessary to help staff transition into new work."
"This was a very difficult decision, and in no way reflects the quality of work or commitment by the staff in Ashford..." - Thermo Fisher
If the proposal is given the green light, it would lead to the phased redundancies of all staff at the Ashford base, with the company planning to complete its relocation by the end of 2019.
The statement added: "This was a very difficult decision, and in no way reflects the quality of work or commitment by the staff in Ashford. We greatly appreciate their ongoing dedication to serving our customers.
"Our Monterrey site in Mexico has capacity to take on additional production and we are proposing leveraging this facility to improve distribution to North America, our largest market for the products currently manufactured in Ashford.
"Similarly, by moving production to China and Denmark, we have the opportunity to simplify our supply chain to serve our customers in Asia-Pacific and Europe more effectively."
Thermo Fisher bosses say the decision has nothing to do with Brexit.
They added: "This proposal is a result of our efforts to continuously evaluate our global footprint to most efficiently and effectively serve our customers and is not related to Brexit.
"The UK holds Thermo Fisher’s largest concentration of employment outside of the US, and we are committed to maintaining a significant presence here.
"We are now moving forward with consultations and will do everything we can to support our employees who may be affected by this proposal."
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