Production ends at Northumberland factory

General Mills' Jus-Rol factory on the Tweedside Trading Estate
General Mills' Jus-Rol factory on the Tweedside Trading Estate

Production has stopped at the Jus-Rol pastry factory in Tweedmouth ahead of its closure later this autumn.

The company had announced its decision to close the plant in January, with the loss of 265 jobs, following a consultation announced last October.

Last Thursday was the final day of production, bringing an end to its 60-year presence in the town.

A spokesperson for Jus-Rol said: “We would like to thank all of our employees for their service over the years.

“Leaving Berwick has not been an easy decision or one that we have taken lightly and we wish the town and its community all good things in the future.”

Since its closure was announced, Jus-Rol’s primary focus has been working to mitigate the impact of the decision on the employees impacted and the wider community.

Jus-Rol said the majority of impacted employees had been successful in finding alternative employment or were embarking on new ventures, including further education.

Support for employees was provided by the company, including severance and transition benefits, as well as the combined efforts of a local community taskforce coordinated by development agency, Arch.

Cllr Allan Hepple of Northumberland County Council, who chaired the taskforce, said: “These have been challenging times for all involved and in particular the staff impacted by the closure.

“Over the past year we have worked closely with Jus-Rol to offer a wide range of initiatives to employees including a significant amount of training, advice on new start up business, CV writing and interview techniques, financial advice and job fairs.

“Personally I would like to thank all the partners within the taskforce for their efforts.”

Jus-Rol also revealed that as it left the town it had provided community funding for a number of projects local to the site, including support for a school breakfast club that will enable the development of facilities to provide a healthy breakfast for pupils, as well as sponsorship of a Visual Arts Programme that would enable the further development of the cultural offering of the town for both residents and visitors.

Jus-Rol reiterated that the closure of the Berwick site would not affect the quality or availability of any of its brands in the UK.

The taskforce was coordinated by Arch and included representatives from: Northumberland County Council, Job Centre Plus, Northumberland College, National Careers Service, Adult Learning, BIS, Berwick Town Council, CBI NECC, UKTI and MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan’s office.

The Berwick facility manufactured baking mixes, and refrigerated and frozen dough products. It has been operated by General Mills since 2001.

Jus-Rol was Berwick’s biggest employer.