Factory closure to hit 900 jobs

Updated: 

Broken piggy bank

More than 900 jobs are set to go after a food producer announced it was shutting one of its plants.

Solway Foods said it had decided to close its factory in Corby in Northamptonshire as it was no longer financially viable to keep it open.

The factory, which produces salads and coleslaw for various retailers, will shut in the summer with 500 jobs being shed between now and April 5.

The area's MP Andy Sawford, who was part of a task force which had been working with the company to try and find alternatives to the closure, called it a sad day for the area but added the priority now was to help the workforce find new jobs.

The company, which is is understood to be the town's second largest employer, had launched a consultation on the proposed plant closure in February.

Today a spokesman said: "It is with much regret that we can confirm that, following a 45-day consultation period, we are closing our Solway Foods site in Corby.

"During consultation we have fully explored all the options available to us.

"Sadly, the fact remains that the site is no longer viable."

The spokesman added the company would help to find its employees new jobs elsewhere and where possible redeploy staff among the parent firm, the 2 Sisters Food Group - it has other factories in Nottingham and Manton Wood, in Nottinghamshire, and Heanor in Derbyshire.

Mr Sawford, MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire, said: "I am very sad to learn that Solway Foods has decided its site in Corby is no longer financially viable and is to close.

"I know that this will be a blow to the workers and to their families."

He added the task force, made up of the local councils and enterprise partnerships, as well as
officials from the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills had worked hard on options to keep the plant open.

Mr Sawford added: "Various offers were made to support the company, including an offer to help with relocating to a new site in Corby and I am disappointed that Solway were not prepared to look at this option."

However, he said the emphasis would now switch to getting former Solway employees into new jobs as soon as possible and revealed that the Northampton-based sandwich maker Greencore is looking to hire 200 new people.

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