A UK based rubber company has bought Avon Rubber’s European mixing centre in Westbury for £2.05m safeguarding jobs and promising more in the future.

The Westbury plant, which on the West Wilts Trading Estate, was due to close earlier this year but now the mixing facility assets have been sold to ATR Compounding, a subsidiary of SPC Europe, who will manage and operate the former Avon plant.

Thirteen employees will be kept on and four have chosen to take redundancy, but SPC Europe expect the workforce to grow to more than 25 within 12 months, flying in the face of the ongoing credit crunch.

Steve Hallas, managing director and founder of SPC Europe Ltd, said: “We started trading in 2001 and we’ve seen exceptional growth to the point where we need additional facilities. The Westbury site will compliment our north Yorkshire production facility.

“This is a fantastic, state-of-the-art plant. It has a 270 litre internal mixing machine, the whole plant is computer controlled, has automatic stacking and packaging facilities, and is highly suited to high volume, high quality rubber compounds.

“The Westbury site will provide us with an excess of low cost rubber compounding capacity. This will allow us to supply a much broader market in batch sizes from as little as 1kg to over 25 tonne container shipments.”

SPC Europe has out performed the market experiencing double digit growth in the last eight years. This is in sharp contrast to Avon Rubber, whose headquarters are in Hampton Park West near Semington, which incurred an operating loss of £1.1m last year.

The proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce Avon Rubber’s current borrowings.

Peter Slabbert, chief executive officer of Avon Rubber, said: “Our decision to close the facility back in January followed a prolonged period during which the mixing business incurred considerable losses.

“I am delighted that through this process we have now managed to eliminate those losses and realise value for this asset.”

Mike Williams, chief executive of the Wessex Association of Chambers of Commerce, said: “Obviously we’re pleased to hear that SPC UK have taken on the Avon Rubber site and while we understand that a few employees have taken voluntary redundancy it’s encouraging that the majority will remain employed and that SPC UK intends to increase the workforce.

“This news is warmly received especially in these times of economic uncertainty.”