MORE North-East workers are facing the dole queue after administrators moved to close another factory in the region.

The move will make more than 70 staff at electrical components firm Ohmega Electronics in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, jobless.

The firm, which manufactures parts for the television and automotive industries, went into voluntary administration in 2000.

But receivers Price Waterhouse Coopers are now petitioning for the winding up of the company, which was born out of the ashes of former television manufacturers Rediffusion.

The news is a further devastating blow to the county which is still coming to terms with the loss of 950 jobs at Black & Decker, in Spennymoor, 150 at LaFarge UK's cement works, in Weardale, and 80 at Barbour's Crook plant.

A further 85 workers were handed their notice at Weardale Steel, in Wolsingham, which administrators are still trying to sell.

Just along the road from Ohmega Electronics, kitchen worktops company Vertex, in Shildon, announced its closure last week leaving more than 100 people out of work.

Bishop Auckland MP Derek Foster said: "This is another body blow for the area. In the space of one week this community has lost nearly 200 jobs. I shall have emergency discussions to see what can be done to alleviate the situation."

Wear Valley District Council leader Olive Brown said: "It's just terrible, particularly on top of all the other job losses in and around Wear Valley.

"The council will try to help in whatever way it can."

Managing director Jim Obee said: "A Japanese company had expressed interest in taking over the company and the feeling was that they could continue to run it for two more years.

"But sadly no agreement was made."

Between them, Jean Hawkes, 58, and Janet Smith, 54, have spent 55 years working for Ohmega and previously Rediffusion.

Mrs Hawkes said: "We knew the firm was in trouble but had confidence it would be saved."

Mrs Smith said: "It's a way of life for so many of us, it'll be difficult to find new jobs."

Director Alan Breeze said: "They are an exemplary workforce, whatever has needed to be done for the company they've always been happy to do."

Price Waterhouse Coopers declined to comment ahead of a court decision expected this morning.