IT has been announced that a major factory in Yate could close down. 

Beko Europe has announced it is launching a consultation “exploring” the potential closure of production of its site in Station Road. 

The Hotpoint factory - which is a subsidiary of Beko - currently makes tumble dryers for markets across the UK and Ireland.

Pending the consultation outcome, it is understood 150 people could be made redundant. 

The consultation is expected to last 50 days, before bosses officially make a decision. 

The Gazette understands members of staff were told the news earlier today. 

South Gloucestershire Council and newly elected MP Claire Young have also been informed. 

Explaining their decision, Beko Europe say tumble dryers made at the Yate site have become less popular with consumers in recent years.

They say the factory has been running “at a significant loss for some time”. 

It is understood this is also partly due to new EU legislation where tumble dryers will have to be made with heat pump technology - which will likely be introduced in the UK. 

They say it is not “technically or economically feasible” to remodel the Yate site to continue operations. 

According to Beko, staff will continue to be employed by the Company on full pay and benefits while the consultation runs. 

Teresa Arbuckle, regional managing director (UK and Ireland) at Beko Europe, said: “We know this news will be difficult to hear for our employees, on-site contractors, and the whole community. 

“The Yate site has a superb workforce, with real commitment and strong leadership, and we are grateful for their continued efforts during this challenging time.”

She added: “The facility has been operating at a significant loss for some time, and over the past few years, despite continued investment in the site, demand for the appliances produced here has rapidly decreased as consumers purchase more advanced and energy efficient models. 

“Employees continue to have access to the usual support from HR, business leaders and the Employee Assistance Programme but should the proposal to close the site go ahead, the business would look to provide additional outplacement and other relevant support.

“We have contacted the site’s new Member of Parliament and South Gloucestershire Council, and we will listen carefully to the local community as the consultation processes progress.”

The Station Road site first opened in 1917 as an aircraft repair centre and is currently a manufacturing facility for tumble dryers. 

Throughout its history, the site has manufactured domestic appliances for brands including Parnall, Jackson, and Whirlpool.

It has also often run annual STEM tournaments where local pupils are encouraged to design and build LEGO robots.