AROUND a third of staff at a long established Tyne Valley company are continuing to work during the coronavirus outbreak.

Thompsons of Prudhoe staff are continuing to work as the company hopes to keep job losses to a minimum.

Many building sites the company has been working on are closed for the duration of the crisis, but the quarries it operates are still in operation, albeit with reduced staff and hours.

John Thompson Snr, the company’s chairman, praised the workforce and confirmed social distancing measures were in place.

He said: “There’s a lot worse off than we are. We’ve been established for a long time and we’ve got a great workforce, and where we can work we are working, and we will keep as many men on as we can.

“A third of our workforce are still working. Our office is closed and all the staff are working from home.

“We’re working reduced hours on our quarries and earth moving side of things, but some of the jobs we were working on have been shut down by the clients. All the sites have to be fully manned for health and safety reasons.

“We can only get back to work when our clients allow it. We’re just following the government guidelines. When people are confident that it’s going to end, which I would think is about three weeks away, we can go back.”