JOB losses are in the pipeline at a fibre optic manufacturer’s two bases in the Borders, it has emerged

Emtelle has announced that “a small number of people” face being impacted at its sites in Hawick and Jedburgh by a downturn in its UK business.

The news comes just months after the firm announced a £42m investment to develop a new facility in Abu Dhabi.

The company, one of the biggest employers in the Borders, has not revealed the number of jobs to be lost at the firm’s headquarters at Haughhead in Hawick and in Oxnam Road in Jedburgh.

But a commitment has been made to “minimise any disruption or anxiety”, with a pledge to redeploy staff wherever possible.

An Emtelle spokesperson said: “Emtelle can confirm that the difficult decision has been made to commence consultations to potentially make a small number of people redundant at our Hawick and Jedburgh facilities.

“This is sadly due to reduced demand from our UK customers.

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“We will continue to support our staff in this process and we strive to minimise any disruption or anxiety of the team.

“Furthermore, we are looking to redeploy those affected wherever possible.”

When announcing the new facility in Abu Dhabi back in March a spokesperson described it as a “huge statement of intent”.

Speaking at the time, Emtelle Group chief executive Tony Rodgers said: “This agreement marks a transformative day for Emtelle, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, and the world.

“It is a huge statement of intent by Emtelle as we will have the manufacturing space needed to ramp up our capacity.

“In turn, this will significantly shorten supply chains and guarantee both existing and new customers security of supply.”

Emtelle manufactures cable duct, the plastic piping which encases underground fibre-optic cables, and exports to more than 60 countries.

The company currently employs more than 400 staff in the Borders out of a total of more than 800 workers worldwide.