A major bakery firm has announced shock plans to close its landmark factory site in Ashington ‘by the end of 2017’ placing the jobs of 400 workers in Sussex at risk.
Major multinational bakery giant CSM, which took over the firm of Kate’s Cakes in 2006, formally announced closure of the Ashington bakery - and one in Esher - in letters to staff yesterday (Wednesday).
The company has begun a formal consultation process with staff and, in letters to them, said: “We want to acknowledge the tremendous efforts and contributions all employees have made to the business and we realise this announcement creates uncertainty for you and your family.
“We would greatly appreciate your support in helping ensure the smooth running of the factories.”
The company says that it has six sites in the UK and proposes to open a brand new site alongside an existing plant in Daventry and to extend another one in Bradford.
CSM employs around 425 people at Ashington and another 170 at Esher.
John Lindsay, a member of the company’s senior European management team, said that staff would be offered alternative employment where possible, along with tranining and counselling.
He said that the company proposals to close the Sussex and Surrey sites were part of a 150m Euro programme across the US and Europe. “It is really about being prepared for future growth.
“We are a growing business and really we need to meet our customer needs for the future.”
CSM’s Ashington site, based on the Wiston Trading Estate, was previously owned by Kate’s Cakes which experienced phenomenal growth and ended up employing hundreds of people after its humble beginnings in a London flat in 1996.