Northern Foods has announced plans to discontinue production at its Fenland Foods site in Grantham, Lincolnshire, which will result in the loss of 700 jobs.
The firm made the decision having been hit with the news that Marks & Spencer was withdrawing production of its Italian ready meal products from Fenland Foods.
“This is tragic news for the workers and their families, especially as there is very little alternative employment in the area,” said GMB union regional officer Andy Worth. “We will do all we can to mitigate the impact of the announcement.”
The factory is not to be closed down entirely, but rather “mothballed” for the next few years while its future is discussed.
“It is a little bit tired. We would want to refurbish it if we were to do something else. Those are the discussions we want to start with other customers,” said chief executive Stefan Barden. “Those discussions could take two to three years. It’s just unrealistic to keep the workforce on during that time period.”
The company is now to carry out a 90 day consultation period.