A CONCRETE plant will shut with the loss of 55 jobs after efforts to rescue it failed.

Marshalls, in Llay, near Wrexham, will lose 20 workers today with the rest leaving next month company bosses said.

This week Unite union officials put a number of alternatives on the table in an 11th hour bid to keep the plant going.

But yesterday Marshalls confirmed the Llay concrete paving factory had to go as it looks to cut costs across the rest of the company.

A Marshall spokesman said: “Marshalls plc can confirm that 20 employees at the Llay works have elected to leave the company on Friday January 22 2009 after consultations with unions and Marshalls representatives.

“Marshalls can also confirm that the Llay site will not be closing on that date.

“The remaining 35 employees will continue to carrying out operations and finishing off work at the site until mid February when production will cease completely.“

The unions and employees have reached agreement on the above decisions and Marshalls will continue to support all employees affected until the site closes in due course.”

The cuts come as the company reported a 6% decline in sales to £378m last year.

Yesterday Unite senior regional organiser Peter Hughes said: “We were in talks all day with managers and put number of proposals to them.

“They included a 12-month pay freeze and workers staying at home for two weeks on half pay.

“But whatever we put to them they rejected and said the plant had to shut.

“It is disappointing – they had to make 6% savings, but rather than spread it they have decided the Llay factory will have to close.”

It is the latest setback to hit the North Wales economy.

Huddersfield-based Marshalls currently employs about 2,600 workers and is holding consultations on the closure of its Hambrook site in West Sussex, where 25 jobs are set to go.

Last year Marshalls cut 140 staff with the closure of concrete manufacturing bases at Cannock, Staffordshire, and Sawley in Nottinghamshire.