TYNEDALE's largest manufacturer has partially shut down its factory during the coronavirus crisis.

Hexham wood manufacturer Egger said it had implemented the safe and controlled temporary shutdown of its main production facilities over the past week, which was completed on Monday.

Its warehouse and despatch team will continue to operate in a capacity to meet the requirements of customers who remain on the ‘essential’ Government list.

Plant manager Andrew Sanderson said the majority of employees were now on the furlough scheme with additional financial support offered by the company.

"We’d like to thank them for their flexibility, dedication and understanding during these unprecedented times," he said.

"Other services continue to be serviced by key employees working remotely. Significant quantities of our material continue to be used in the construction and fit out of new NHS hospitals and other essential areas.

"Extensive measures continue to be taken to ensure we operate safely and within the Government’s guidelines.

"Like most companies, we continue to monitor the fast changing situation during the coronavirus crisis, with the health and safety of our employees, customers and stakeholders being our top priority.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and will restart production operations safely when required."

Concerned workers at the factory contacted the Courant last month to say that the workforce wasn’t being protected from catching the virus.

It was claimed that some departments in the factory had large groups of people confined to small spaces which weren’t obeying the two-metre social distancing rule.