POLITICIANS have joined the fight to save a Wealdstone art factory that provides supplies to Prince Charles.

ColArt Fine Art & Graphics Ltd is considering shutting its branch of Windsor & Newton in Whitefriars Avenue, putting 190 jobs on the line, and is rumoured to be moving the production side of its operation to France.

The company says Wealdstone is too residential to allow it to expand and meet the growing demands of the global art market but trade union Unite is calling for a move to the Kodak site, in Headstone Drive.

Councillor Bill Stephenson, leader of Harrow Council, and Navin Shah, assembly member for Brent and Harrow, were among a delegation that lobbied the company to stay in the borough on Friday.

Cllr Stephenson said: “ColArt has an important role in Harrow's heritage and in the local economy, not just in employing residents, but also in Wealdstone town centre, whose businesses benefit from the presence of a large employer.

“We believe the company has a future in Harrow and will do everything we can to find solutions to the challenges they face, and safeguard the jobs of local people.”

He said the planning department will do everything it can to accommodate the company if it is able to remain in the area and the council confirmed the possibility of a move to the Kodak site was discussed.

The firm launched a 90 day consultation on the proposals and staff will not find out their fate until it ends but union officials are preparing for a fight if the company goes ahead.

Richard Gates, a representative of Unite, last week called on Prince Charles to defend the factory, which was opened in 1937 and is ColArt's headquarters.

Windsor & Newton was given a royal warrant by Queen Victoria in 1841 and provides art supplies to the prince's household.

Mr Gates said: “I wrote to Prince Charles last week. We are trying to get anyone who can put pressure and have influence over ColArt to get them to stay in Wealdstone.

“Last week alone we had 17 new members join the union so obviously they can see there's possibly going to be a fight.

“At present we are still going through consultation. We shouldn't preempt that but we are looking to put as much pressure as we can on ColArt.”

Neil Robson, managing director of ColArt, said: “We welcome the interest and support of Harrow Council during this consultation period. “The discussions have been open and realistic and we look forward to continued communication throughout this process.”