About 70 employees at Northern Ireland panel manufacturer Spanboard Products Ltd have lost their jobs following the end of production of raw particleboard at the Coleraine plant. The redundancies follow a 90-day consultation period.

Spanboard, sister company of Sonae UK will now concentrate on value added services and all its particleboard production will be switched to Sonae’s Knowsley site.

“It is important to stress that the changes won’t affect our existing customers in Ireland,said a spokesperson at the time. “The commercial operation isn’t changing and we will still be offering our full product range.”

The company’s Portuguese owner Sonae Indústria, blamed the job loses on the downturn in the construction industry and the rising cost of raw materials.