A COMPANY is axing 17 jobs - almost 15 per cent of its work force - at a plant near Keighley.

Airedale Chemical, based in Skipton Road, Cross Hills, is cutting jobs from its 120-strong workforce as part of a restructuring move.

The company was founded in 1973 by Brian Chadwick and the family business provides "complementing products and services from industrial chemicals, dyes, ingredients, private label manufacturing and branded product offerings."

In 1992 the Crosshills site was purchased and Airedale Chemical became a split service chemical distributor and manufacturer.

The firm celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2013 and a year later recorded a turnover of more than £40million.

In September last year, the firm announced plans to take on the next generation of scientists as part of a Government apprenticeship scheme, but is now streamlining its current staff.

The Telegraph and Argus understands the jobs will be lost on April 20.

Chris Chadwick, Airedale Chemical's Managing Director said: "Airedale Chemical is currently carrying out a restructure to refocus on the company’s core services.

"Unfortunately, this means that redundancies are being made throughout the company.

"This decision has not been made lightly and the company deeply regrets having to lose members of its team.

"We are supporting those employees affected as much as possible and will continue to service all customers as normal with no disruption to day to day activity."

One member of staff, who is losing their job at the end of this month, said: "This has come as a bit of a shock.

"We didn't know it was that bad at work."