Responding to the news that Portals is winding down it’s banknote paper business in Overton, Kit Malthouse MP said:
“This is a devastating blow for Overton, Whitchurch and the surrounding area where the history and livelihoods of so many families has been bound up with the 300 year history of Portals.
“Over the last couple of years, I have been in close touch with the company as they struggled with overseas competition and rising energy costs, and at all times it has been apparent that the management have a strong sense of duty to their workers. Sadly the future operation of the mill at Overton now seems financially impossible, and an orderly wind down, with a generous redundancy package and outplacement support, is of course preferable to going bust. I will be liaising with the Union representatives, and workers themselves, during the consultation to make sure that they get all the help and assistance they need. “
“While the future of the mill site will now be uncertain, given its location at the headwaters of the Test, there will also be significant environmental concerns to be addressed. The management have assured me that they have every intention of doing their duty in this regard, and I will of course monitor their progress closely and liaise with the Environment Agency.
“This is a very sad day for North West Hampshire. Starting in 1712 at Bere Mill, Portals has been a feature of life on the Upper Test for over 300 years, and it has left its mark not just in bricks and mortar, but amongst the many families who have devoted their working lives to it over generations. I share their distress and will do what I can to help the community through this difficult chapter in its history.”