Express & Star

192 jobs facing the axe at Willenhall's Aspray Transport company

Almost 200 jobs are under threat at a Willenhall transport company.

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Aspray Transport is part of the Aspray Group, based in Noose Lane, Willenhall

Staff at Aspray Transport, part of the Aspray Group, say they were told on Wednesday that the site on Noose Lane will be closing next Friday.

A spokesman for Aspray Group refused to confirm or deny this but did say that efforts to "find a solution for the company" had failed after Aspray Transport entered into a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) four months ago.

A CVA is an insolvency deal where a struggling company negotiates new agreements with its creditors to reduce costs and pay back debts.

“Unfortunately, Aspray Transport has been experiencing trading difficulties for some time, due to a number of factors including rising fuel prices, adverse market conditions and the uncertainty linked to Brexit," the spokesman said.

Aspray Transport is the next-day delivery arm of the group

"To combat these issues, we initiated a CVA process, which was approved by the company’s creditors in April.

"However, due to the continued market decline it has become apparent that this will be insufficient in addressing the company’s poor trading performance.

"With these issues in mind, we have been working tirelessly to find a solution for the company, including seeking additional investment and speaking to potential purchasers. Regrettably, these have not been successful."


One worker, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Express & Star: "I'm gutted. They got us all in a big room on Wednesday and told us it was closing and we're losing our jobs.

"It is a worry, people here have families to look after, what are we supposed to do?"

Another staff member added: "We were told it was closing, with everyone losing their jobs.

"They told us it was because they were scaling down.

A banner outside the site advertising jobs

"I'm not too worried as there are plenty of jobs around, and I've already been speaking to companies about a job."

Aspray Transport is the next-day delivery arm of Aspray Group, which has its headquarters at Noose Lane and also includes Aspray Logistics and Aspray International.

Formed in 1982, the company was family run before being taken over by Bushell Investment Group in March.

Aspray Transport employs 449 people across the UK, 192 of which are in Willenhall, and has a fleet of more than 400 vehicles transporting goods up and down the country.

Other divisions 'not affected'

The company spokesman said employees and customers of Aspray Logistics and Aspray International will not be affected by the plight of the Transport division.

"We understand that this will be of concern to Aspray Transport employees and customers," they added.

The staff and visitor entrance at the site on Noose Lane

"We have informed them about the situation and will continue to keep them updated about and supported on developments.

"Aspray Logistics and Aspray International employees and customers, which represent the warehousing and logistics side of the business, are not affected and we would like to reassure them of our ongoing commitment.”

As well as refusing to confirm that the business is closing, the spokesman refused to comment on any potential redundancies.

Neil Anderson, director of external affairs at Black Country Chamber of Commerce, said: "It is alarming to hear about the troubles facing Aspray Transport who are a well-known and respected local business.

"We understand and appreciate that this a fluid situation and that a number of avenues are being pursued by Aspray Transport’s bosses to ensure its continued operation and trading.

"Our thoughts are with the business’ employees who have remained professional and focused during these difficult times."