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Waterford site for sale

Hopes that the ailing Waterford Crystal manufacturing plant could be saved have been dashed.

A receiver, which was appointed last year, has decided that the multi-million-euro site will be put on the market, putting an end to any speculation that the number of people still employed by the company would have their jobs saved.

The 36-acre site, which includes the Waterford Crystal visitor centre, is based in Kilbarry, near Waterford city, and is valued at between €10m and €20m.

The rest of Waterford Wedgwood's businesses were sold to a US investment firm in February and the company now produces crystal under the Waterford brand in Germany.

Waterford Wedgwood had until recently employed 800 people in Ireland, but there were only 30 people still employed at the factory in October.

At one stage in the 1980s, there were close to 3,000 people employed there.

Its former non-executive chairman Sir Anthony O'Reilly and his brother-in-law Peter Goulandris, own more than 50pc of the company, in which they have invested €400m.

"The board has acted tirelessly in its efforts to resolve the company's issues," said Mr O'Reilly when the group was appointed a receiver.

Last year, US private equity group KPS Capital Partners agreed to buy Waterford's key British and Irish businesses from administrators Deloitte.