Closure of Fogarty's a shock that 'wasn't on our radar' says county council economy chief

Fogarty's gates the morning after the announcement
Fogarty's gates the morning after the announcement

The executive councillor for economy at Lincolnshire County Council has expressed shock over the closure of a historic Boston firm, saying it “wasn’t on the authority’s radar”.

Following a meeting of the authority’s Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday, Councillor Colin Davie said it was a “very sad day”, marking the loss of the “nationally-recognised” and “long-standing” company.

“We have intelligence on a lot of businesses, how they are performing etc. Fogarty was not on our list as a business that was in trouble or was in danger of collapse so it was a shock to us and a total shock obviously for the workforce,” he said.

He said businesses did tend to talk to LCC when they needed help, support and advice, but Fogarty hadn’t contacted the authority and he “was not aware of issues with the company.”

However, he added: “Looking back on the announcement, as a big supplier of products to a lot of the big High Street chain stores maybe there was something about that, or that they found it increasingly difficult to compete in what is now a global marketplace for those products, I don’t know”

He said details would come out in the insolvency proceedings.

He added the council would be working with the local council and Job Centre to help those affected.

Unions on Monday announced that more than 200 people had lost their jobs at the leading bedding brand in Boston.

Fogarty, which made pillows, duvets and bedding had been operating in the Lincolnshire town for more than 100 years.

Staff at the store, located on Fishtoft Road in Boston, were reportedly told that the company is insolvent and been handed redundancy notices according to GMB Union.

During a scrutiny committee meeting last week Boston Borough Councillor Alison Austin said the company had been a “pioneer” within the feather industry.