Sheffield foundry facing potential closure as Castmaster Roll goes into administration

Castmaster Roll Co, Stevenson Road
Castmaster Roll Co, Stevenson Road

A historic Sheffield foundry is facing the prospect of closure after the company running it went into administration – putting 70 jobs at risk.

Some 26 workers have already been made redundant at Castmaster Roll, formerly Davy Roll, based at the Eagle Foundry on Stevenson Way, Attercliffe.

And a further 44 jobs could go unless a new owner can be found.

Administrator KPMG has been appointed to oversee operations after the business went into administration following financial difficulties.

Sheffield MP Clive Betts said today he wants an investigation into how the company’s financial problems had occurred.

“I want the administrators to do a thorough investigation into how an apparently successful firm has got into this position,” he said.

A spokesman for KPMG said it is ‘in discussions with interested parties’ about the sale of the business.

The firm produces iron and steel quality rolls, discs and sleeves for the manufacturing and food processing industry.

The company employed 70 people within its foundry but, after it went into administration on October 24, casting operations were stopped and 26 people were made redundant. Howard Smith, associate restructuring partner at KPMG, said efforts are now being made to find new owners.

“We are assessing our options to keep the machining and ring shop operations at Castmaster Rolls trading, while also seeking a buyer for the business,” he said.

“We would encourage any interested parties to come forward.”

The Stevenson Road site began making gas lamps more than a century ago and became a roll maker about 95 years ago.

It was known as the Davy Roll company but, after going into receivership, was reborn as Castmaster Roll in the mid-2000s, taken over by new owner Mel Farrar.

One worker, who asked not to be named, said he had worked at the site since the mid-1990s and had been made redundant for the second time after also losing his job during financial problems of a decade ago.

Mr Betts, MP for Sheffield South East, who was involved in the successful attempt to save the firm then, said he hoped new owners could be found.

“It would be a massive loss and to try to keep it going is an absolute priority,” he said.

“Other firms probably depend on it as well.”

The news is the latest blow to Sheffield’s once-great steel industry.

In 2011, the Sheffield census showed just over 22,000 people were employed in manufacturing jobs.

At that time, the industry was still the third largest employer in the city, behind the public sector with more than 82,000 employees and the wholesale and retail trade, which provided 37,000 jobs.