Fear of job losses as Williams put up for sale

Jamie Woodhouse
Business and council leaders fear job losses in Grove area if Williams are sold.

Business and council leaders fear job losses in Grove area if Williams are sold.

Business leaders fear job losses in Grove near Wantage where Williams are based if the legendary racing company is sold.

Williams are a major employer in the area, specialising in racing and construction.

But in a statement they said that a “formal sale process is the right and prudent thing to do”, and that a “potential sale of the whole company” was a possibility.

This all comes off the back of the company recording a sizeable drop in revenue, triggered mainly by the lack of Formula 1 action.

And with the financial uncertainty, there are now major fears that the Grove community could be rocked by job losses at Williams. After all, Britain’s other iconic F1 team McLaren have announced they would be making up to 1200 staff redundant 70 of those in the F1 division, due to similar financial worries.

As quoted by the Oxford Mail, Julie Mabberley of the Wantage and Grove Campaign Group, said: “We’d be very sad if Williams F1 closed its offices in Grove as it is currently one of the major employers in the area. We hope that any change in ownership will not change the strong relationship between the company and the local community.”

The Vale of White Horse District Council leader, Emily Smith, added: “Williams F1 is an important and valued employer in the Vale.

“As well as the racing team, their conference centre and the Advanced Engineering part of the business employs many highly skilled engineers and other staff at their headquarters in Grove.

“It is not yet clear what the outcome of this sale announcement will be, but we will continue to work closely with Williams and any potential future buyer to support their role in the local economy and the wider community.”

Williams are one of Formula 1’s most successful teams, winning nine Constructors’ Championships and seven Drivers’ Championships since entering Formula 1 in 1978.

Wantage Mayor, Jim Sibbald, was hopeful that the team’s founder Frank Williams and deputy team principal Claire Williams would continue to look out for the local community.

“Sir Frank Williams and his daughter Claire have been employers and supporters of the local community for many years and with the potential sale of part of the Williams set of companies, I am sure they would like to continue this in whatever way they can,” he said.

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