According to the Manchester Evening News, Altrincham-based Hot Animation, which makes Bob for owner HIT Entertainment, has warned staff that the studio could close later this year with the loss of all 67 jobs. Letters spelling out potential job cuts and a period of consultation have been sent to all employees.
A spokesman for parent company HIT would not comment on the likelihood of Bob The Builder being outsourced to a cheaper studio overseas, but confirmed that a complete closure of the Hot Animation facility had been suggested as a "worst case scenario".
"We are working to restructure the Hot Animation studio to allow it to continue to operate in the challenging and highly competitive marketplace that is children's entertainment," she added. "We will continue with a period of consultation of staff and regrettably as part of this process redundancies may occur."
Concerned workers at the company have told of their fears that they are being kept in the dark about future plans to avoid disruption to work on the latest series of Bob The Builder. One source said there was nothing scheduled to be produced by Hot Animation after September, and voiced concerns that work might be outsourced by Hot Animation's parent company to cheaper overseas producers.