AN EMPLOYER with hundreds of years of history in the area is considering redundancies as it looks at ways to improve its competitiveness.

Portals Paper, the banknote printer, is set to begin a consultation process next week in which a number of roles could be at risk of redundancy.

The company has produced banknotes since the early 1700s, and after initially operating out of Bere Mill and later Laverstoke Mill, in Whitchurch, moved to Overton in 1924.

Now it could be planning to trim its workforce in the village by as much as 60 staff, one employee told the Advertiser.

The company, however, has denied this number but admits that some roles could be lost.

It says it is exploring the possibility of redundancies as it ‘looks at ways to be more competitive in a global market’, but that if other ways of cutting costs could be identified, they would be pursued instead.

It comes after dozens of jobs were cut at the company, when it operated under the De La Rue banner, in 2015.

One current member of staff, who wished to remain anonymous, says consultations with those in roles at risk of redundancy have already begun at the company.

“Those at risk of redundancy have had consultations today and they let them know they were at risk,” the employee on Tuesday.

“As of next Monday, there will be a month-long consultation with the union. But they want 60 jobs gone. They want to make a massive saving.”

The company, however, says it is looking to cut costs in other areas rather than solely through redundancies as it looks to remain ‘competitive’ in a global economy.

Portals Paper provides high security papers to many governments around the world and competes with many companies on a global scale.