Tangerine Confectionery claims 166 jobs could go following the planned closure of its factory in Blackpool in a UK-wide programme to trim excess capacity.
The company, which makes brands including Barratts and Butterkist, issued a statement saying it aims to transfer production and equipment from the Clifton Road site to other UK facilities. These would include the nearby Vicarage Lane facility, also in Blackpool, it said.
Tangerine Confectionery said it expected to close the Clifton Road factory by the end of March 2015 and a consultation process with employees on both a collective and individual basis begins today.
‘Very challenging market’
The proposed changes would safeguard the firm’s long-term contribution to Blackpool’s economic landscape and enable it to compete more effectively in what it described as “a very challenging market”.
Tangerine would “continue to develop its UK operations as centres of excellence for confectionery production and is committed to creating sustainable jobs in British manufacturing”, it said.
“These changes at Tangerine are fundamental to creating sustainable jobs in Blackpool and elsewhere in our UK factories and underpin our future competitiveness as a British confectionery manufacturer,” said operations and supply chain director Nigel Nelson.
‘Welfare of employees primary concern’
“The decision has been made after a carefully considered review. Our primary concern at this stage is the welfare of our employees and we are committed to do all that we can to support them through the consultation period and beyond.
“We will do everything possible during this time to retain the experience of employees within the business by offering roles at our other factories for example, Vicarage Lane where we continue to invest.”
The maker of confectionery products such as Sherbert Dip Dabs said it had announced the plans so a formal consultation process could take place at the earliest opportunity.
It moved to reassure staff that if the proposal went ahead, no potential redundancies would take place until the consultation had concluded.
The company initially announced plans to cut jobs in the UK restructure in December last year , but could not confirm at the time how many people would be affected.