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Major car firm could pull out of Sheerness

Gefco's Sheerness base
Gefco's Sheerness base

A car importing firm could pull out of Sheerness if new business rates are enforced.

GEFCO, the distribution arm of the Peugeot Citroen group has been hit with a £3m bill dating back to 2005 and the neighbouring VW storage depot faces a bill of £2.8m if the measure goes through.

All 55 ports in the UK face similar huge bills.

Jamie Humphrey, managing director of GEFCO (based in Brielle Way, Sheerness) said: "If imposed by the government then the new rates will cripple us. We may be forced to retreat to the European mainland. Our Paris headquarters is furious with our government for quietly bringing in the new rates last October.

"We employ 60 people directly as well as 30 temporary staff and 500 indirectly.

"We are currently taking legal advice and are meeting with Sheppey MP Derek Wyatt in the next week or so to discuss the crisis."

For full report see next week's Sheerness Times Guardian.

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