The company that occupies a historic aircraft factory in Woodley that was under threat from demolition will be vacating the building in the near future.

The Thermal Management Systems (TMS) business, which occupies the old Miles Aircraft building in Headley Road East, Woodley, has decided to move production from the UK and consolidate its sites in Europe.

It is understood the move affects approximately 140 members of staff who work there, according to a Sky News report.

TMS produces thermostats for cars, with clients including Ford and Jaguar Land Rover.

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The company has decided to leave the Woodley factory to consolidate production in Germany and France.

The impact of Brexit has in part been blamed and challenges in the car industry.

Explaining the decision, Mark Franckel, Group CEO said: “Over recent years the automotive industry has experienced unprecedented turbulence and uncertainty, with some markets hit harder than others.

“TMS has navigated these challenges, and we continue to experience strong demand for our best-in-class thermal management products from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and tier one suppliers from around the world.

“Our products control and optimise the movement of air, oil and water around a vehicle and also have Industrial applications (Heating and Sanitary).

“Our innovative automotive thermal solutions enable all vehicle platforms, including electric, hydrogen and hybrid vehicles.

“It was against this challenging backdrop that the decision to transfer production from the UK to Europe was made.

“It was not taken lightly and was only made after careful deliberation and consideration of all the company’s critical stakeholders and the outlook for the industry.

“The move optimises our global operating footprint to deliver a strong, resilient business that will allow us to meet the current and future demands of an extremely dynamic industry.

“We remain excited about the industry’s electrified future and are uniquely poised to capitalise on the rapidly expanding electric vehicle market as well as the opportunities it brings to the Group.”

The future of TMS at its Woodley site has been in doubt since a planning application (reference 213106) to demolish the factory building and replace it with five new commercial buildings surfaced in October 2021.

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But the redevelopment bid was unanimously refused by Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee on June 8, over concerns about intensified lorry traffic and the loss of the historic factory building, which was formally opened in 1939 and was used to assist the Battle of Britain during World War Two.

A whopping 4,868 people signed a petition calling for the building to be saved.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has asked TMS to clarify the exact amnount of redundancies and whether there are any opportunities for redeployment.

It is believed TMS will move out  of Woodley later this year.