United Kingdom
East Midlands; Leicestershire; Rutland and Northamptonshire
Location of affected unit(s)
Manufacture Of Computer, Electrical Electronic And Optical Products
Manufacture Of Electrical Equipment
27.4 - Manufacture of electric lighting equipment

370 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
21 November 2006
Employment effect (start)
1 April 2007
Foreseen end date
31 December 2007


More than 370 people are to lose their jobs with the closure of one of Leicester's biggest factories. GE Lighting on Melton Road, which has been making light bulbs for 60 years, is to shut by the end of 2007.

The firm said the plant was not delivering the required results in what was a competitive market.

Union leaders said they were shocked by the move and were planning to start a campaign to try to save the jobs and the site.

European manufacturing director Istvan Salekovics said: 'We understand that the actions we are proposing to take at the Leicester facility will be very difficult for our workforce. The lighting business operates in a highly competitive global industry. It was necessary for the business to review its 2007 manufacturing plan for all plants in Europe. Results show that the volume of products at the Leicester plant has continued to fall and despite concerted efforts overall, the plant is not delivering the results required to remain competitive.'

The firm will start to phase out production in April. Over the past 16 months, 120 jobs have been transferred to the company's plant in Hungary.

Members of the Amicus union staged a strike at the beginning of November in protest at job cuts.

Union officials said they will fight on and will be enlisting the help of MPs and the local authority to try to stop the closure.

GE, one of the world's biggest companies, took over the Thorn Lighting company in 1991. Light bulbs have been produced at the Leicester site since 1946.


  • 21 November 2006: BBC Website


Eurofound (2006), GE Lighting, Closure in United Kingdom, factsheet number 64509, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/64509.