BOSSES at Lister Petter want the company to stay close to Dursley when they move operations from the town - but are refusing to rule out an overseas move or job losses.

Speaking exclusively to the Gazette, Bryan Draper, chief executive officer at the engineering firm, said they needed to modernise and confirmed there could be redundancies.

He said Lister Petter was continuing the reorganisation it began last year, which saw part of the business move to premises in Quedgeley and the relocation in January of its generator business to Dudley, near Birmingham.

He said: "Our challenge is where we put our new factory. We can’t get something all singing all dancing that’s 30 or 40 miles away but we need to have a standard.

"We need to keep the skills sets, we need to keep the people, we need to keep it close to Dursley."

However, the chief executive said despite growth there could be up to 25 job losses.

He said: "When we start moving things around there’s a reorganisation and there are shared functions.

"We are hoping that even if people’s jobs become redundant as a result of the reorganisation, provided they have the skills sets, we hope to offer them alternative employment within the organisation."

He added: "Our business is growing. We grew by 20 per cent last year worldwide but as a result of the reorganisation and the need to get the footprint of the factory down we may lose some numbers as part of the exercise."

He also said the company had not ruled out transferring overseas. Lister Petter already has facilities across the globe including in South Africa, Dubai, North America, the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand.

Mr Draper said he had met with union representatives and had personally addressed the entire Dursley workforce of approximately 200 workers about the company’s plans.

Lister Petter is leaving its Long Street site because of the age of the factory and the expiration of its lease on December 31. Staff based at the Priory building will remain in the town.

Mr Draper said details about the move were likely to be finalised by June, with any move taking place by the end of the year.

A spokesman for Stroud District Council, which now owns the site, said: "One of our priorities is economic growth for the area, and that includes keeping and growing commercial activity in the district. To that end we are working with Lister Petter and other parties to keep them local."