Kodak latest: Closure plan to be discussed by council

Kodak factory in Howley Park Road Estate. (D522H409)
Kodak factory in Howley Park Road Estate. (D522H409)

Concerns over the proposed closure of the Kodak works in Morley with the loss of 200 jobs was due to be discussed at Leeds City Council’s full meeting today.

Coun Judith Elliott was to raise the issue in a section of the meeting devoted to economic development.

Coun Elliott said: “The announcement of the closure of the Kodak works is a huge disappointment to all councillors.
“We will be raising the matter on Wednesday to call for the city council to use all available means to try and get this decision reversed.

“Kodak delivers good jobs and many of its workers live locally. The announcement of its closure is a real blow.”

Councillors first got involved with retaining Kodak in 2006 when a planning application threatened the site. A housing application was refused on appeal which prevented the possibility of closure due to proximity of residential houses.

Coun Tom Leadley said: “Eight years ago Morley Town Council Planning Committee fought long and hard to stop 200 houses being built at Britannia Road, which would have gone right up to the fence of Kodak works.

“We persuaded the Plans Panel that close neighbours of 24 hour, seven days a week factory would be likely to complain about noise, outdoor lighting and general disturbance.

“At an appeal hearing in 2006 , a Kodak representative confirmed that if the factory came under pressure from complaints, it would be likely that work would be transferred to Europe. We won that appeal and the housing was stopped.

“Eight years later Kodak has decided to move production to Germany. It’s disappointing that although we extended its life by nine years or so, Kodak hasn’t seen fit to be loyal to their Morley factory and its expert workforce, which has a long history in the Leeds area.”