Federal Mogul announced in May 2007 that it was seeking 70 redundancies in its 140-strong workforce at the long established engineering premises in Surrey. It announced that it would continue to manufacture out of the Elstead factory, supplying customers such as BMW and Perkins. However, in 2008 the remaining workforce was informed that the entire site was to close that October. The Elstead works started life at the beginning of the 20th century as Weyburn Engineering, and in recent years it was merged with competitors to become Weyburn Bartel before being bought by Federal Mogul. It has always been the only real factory in the village, and it employed about 300 people in 1937 when it was manufacturing lifeboat engines and other parts for cars and aeroplanes. When soaring asbestos liabilities forced Federal Mogul to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US in 2001, its UK subsidiaries were placed under the control of court appointed administrators. The Elstead workforce, who were carrying out precision engineering for a number of high profile clients on the four-acre site, believed the business still had a future, despite the company’s decision to make 70 redundancies in 2007. the site has since been sold to a property developer.
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