Staple manufacturer BeA Fastening Systems Ltd is closing its Beverley manufacturing operation because of a downturn in American orders and increased competition from the Far East.

The move, part of a Pan-European manufacturing rationalisation programme by German-based BeA, involves 34 redundancies and sees staple production transferring to the company’s operations in the Czech Republic and Germany from the end of November.

BeA said UK staple and fastener choice and availability would improve as the two European plants manufacture a wider range of products.

It also said consolidation of operations would reduce operational costs and retain the UK’s competitive pricing structure.

Managing director Paul Lee said: “After manufacturing for over 40 years in the UK, it is with regret that we are left with no option but to announce these changes. We are working closely with the Department of Trade and Industry to minimise the effects on members of staff.”

Mr Lee said BeA’s nail manufacturing operation in Fife was unaffected by the changes.

Warehousing, distribution, marketing, administration and technical support will remain at Beverley.

Meanwhile, BeA is also urging manufacturers to ditch old production methods and move to automation.

The company said investment in automated fastening systems could help profit margins in a business climate hindered by a lack of skilled machine operators, cheaper imports and high labour costs.

BeA’s automation initiative is being backed up by PR and direct mail campaigns to existing and potential customers.