Assurances given over food jobs

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HUNDREDS of jobs are set to be axed with the likely closure of two food factories – but assurances have been given that this will not impact ongoing talks over the future of an Amble site.

Earlier this week, Young’s Seafood Limited confirmed that it could shut the doors of the former Cumbrian Seafoods (now known as Ocean Pure) plants in Seaham and Whitehaven, with the loss of up to 380 posts, following consultation with workers since the New Year.

But it has been confirmed that these developments will not affect continuing discussions over subsidiary Border Laird in Amble, with one option being the sale of the Coquet Enterprise Park-based factory.

It follows the acquisition of the customer contracts and equipment by Lion Capital, which owns Young’s Seafood, from Cumbrian Seafoods after the company went into administration in December.

Pete Ward, chief operating officer of Young’s Seafood, said that the volume from the Seaham and Whitehaven sites are to be transferred into the company’s existing facilities as it was ‘the most sustainable option for the long-term’.

“Factors considered, as part of the consultation process, included cost, financial sustainability, quality and technical standards, and manufacturing capabilities of the sites. Unfortunately the phased transfer of volume is likely to result in the closure of the Seaham and Whitehaven sites with the loss of up to 281 jobs in Seaham and 99 jobs in Whitehaven, in the next month.

“The formal consultation at the former Cumbrian Seafoods site at Border Laird in Amble continues, we are exploring options including the outline possibility of a sale of the site, and this on-going consultation process is not affected by the developments regarding Seaham or Whitehaven.”