Jobs at risk as Horsham garage announces closure

JPCT 191212 Broadbridge Heath Motors. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 191212 Broadbridge Heath Motors. Photo by Derek Martin

More than 30 Horsham workers have been told their jobs will be lost just days before Christmas.

Broadbridge Heath Motor Company Ltd, based off Farthings Hill Roundabout, -will close its doors on December 31.

The Peugeot and Citroen specialists employs a total of 33 people - four of whom were taken on from Stevens Vauxhall dealership, also based in the village, after it shut down earlier this year.

The garage has been branded ‘another victim of the recession’ by the man who has been brought in to help with the closure process.

The adviser, who did not want to be named, told the County Times yesterday: “It’s purely financial.”

Speaking of what will happen in the lead up to its closure, he explained: “There are two key things: making sure we’re pulling out all the stops for people who have orders in with us and that these are catered for properly and; making sure we’re looking after staff in what is an extremely difficult time for all the people concerned.

“It’s a shame.”

He said ‘everything is being done with incredibly good will’ and emphasised that ‘orders are being fulfilled and arrangements are now with other dealers’.

Now more than 100 vehicles need to be sold before they go to auction.

“If you’re looking for a bargain and want to help the people out at Broadbridge Heath, please do get in touch,” he added.

The site has been home to a car dealership for more than 25 years.

Roger Paterson, Horsham District Council cabinet member for the local economy, said: “I’m obviously extremely disappointed to hear the garage is closing.

“This is an important garage to the area and it is in a well positioned site on the A24.

“It will be a loss both to local motorists and to those who have jobs there. I have some confidence though because I know there is a demand for additional garage space and opportunity for inward development.

“There’s hope the site will be occupied with another distributor.”

Yesterday Citroen UK sought to reassure its customers in the wake of the news.

A spokesman for company said: “We are in discussions with the dealership, but it is an independently owned garage with the Citroen franchise and not owned by Citroen UK, so we cannot comment on the closure.

“We want to try to minimise the impact to customers and they can contact the customers contact centre and we will put them in contact with the nearest dealership.

“It’s number is 0844 4633500.”

Broadbridge Heath Motor Company Ltd is the second car dealership to close in Horsham in five months.

Around 70 people were made redundant after Stevens Vauxhall, in Billingshurst Road, was unsuccessful in finding a buyer back in August.

Four workers were employed by the Broadbridge Heath Motor Company Ltd but have been handed the devastating blow of losing their job twice in the space of 12 months.

Stevens Vauxhall had been selling from its Horsham and Crawley sites since 1963 and traded under the name of Tates, which was later acquired by Evans Halshaw in 1982.

Peter Stevens led a management buyout in August 2000. At the time he told the County Times: “It’s a very sad day.”