Workers at a carpet tile factory were left ‘shocked’ yesterday to learn that the plant is to close from the end of next month, with the potential loss of 115 jobs.

One employee at the InterfaceFlor factory in Shelf said the workforce had been expecting to hear about a takeover rather than closure.

The worker, who did not want to be named and has worked at the company for 20 years, said: “The union was called in about an hour before we were told. It was a shock to learn that the factory is closing. We have seen work being transferred to Holland, but were expecting an announcement about a takeover following the death of the InterfaceFlor founder last year. We’re all in a state of shock and in limbo until things become clearer.”

InterfaceFlor, which has owned the Shelf plant since the late 1970s, said the move was due to falling demand in the UK. It has started consultations with employees and the Unite union over plans to close the Shelf manufacturing and distribution operations in a bid to save about £4 million a year.

Up to 115 jobs, mainly in manufacturing and a few office staff, out of the 204 workforce could be affected by the cuts. The company is looking to offer voluntary redundancy and redeployment opportunities to other parts of its business.

InterfaceFlor intends to keep its UK headquarters in Shelf, along with sales and marketing, design and development and a sample making unit.

Lindsey Parnell, European president and chief executive, said: “It is with regret that I must announce that InterfaceFlor is entering into consultation over ceasing manufacturing at Shelf. The business case for the proposed closure is, however, strong.”