A FACTORY for disabled workers in Burnley has been spared the axe under “barbaric” Government cuts.
Remploy Burnley was one of 54 centres nationwide under review after the Sayce Report recommended diverting £320m. budget away from the loss-making factories.
The Accrington Road factory, which employs 26 people, has escaped closure after the Department for Work and Pensions announced 36 sites across the UK would be given the chop with the loss of 1,750 jobs.
Leaders of the worker’s union Unite have heavily criticised the Government’s decision to make the redundancies, and have vowed to fight the decision.
But fears remain over the future of Burnley Remploy as the Government could cut all funding to the centre by next year.
Kevin Wright, of Burnley Remploy which produces packaging, said: “Funding will be stopped by at least August 2013, so there will be no money for the factory whatsoever.
“It will be a case of if the factory can be made viable on its own, because if not, it will close.
“Things will have to change drastically.
“But Burnley has been doing fairly well as far as sales are concerned.
“There is always some hope for the future when you are kept open.”
Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller, said: “We have been absolutely clear that the £320m. budget for specialist disability employment services has been protected.
“But by spending the money more effectively, we can get thousands more disabled people in work.
“That is why we have accepted the recommendation from the Sayce Review to refocus support on individuals through services like Access to Work, rather than institutions like Remploy.
“That way, more disabled people can work in mainstream employment rather than Government-funded segregated factories.”