Premier Foods to shut flour mill with loss of 43 jobs

The group is set to close the mill at Barry Docks by the end of October, bringing to a close a long history in South Wales

The Hovis brand is part of Premier Foods
The Hovis brand is part of Premier Foods

Hovis bread and Mr Kipling cakes firm Premier Foods today revealed plans to shut a 109-year-old flour mill with the loss of 43 jobs.

The group is set to close the mill at Barry Docks by the end of October, bringing to a close a long history in South Wales.

Its Atlantic Mills site was built in 1904 by the then Hovis-Bread Flour Company - Britain's largest flour miller.

Premier said the closure would be phased over the coming months, impacting the mill's workforce and contractors.

It follows the closure of its Glasgow mill in early April, which impacted 15 employees.

The latest blow comes as part of a shake-up of its Rank Hovis network, which has a history dating back 138 years.

Premier will split the milling business in two, with mills in Southampton, Manchester and Newbridge to be focused on producing flour for supermarkets and other food manufacturers, trading under the Rank Hovis brand, while the remaining mills in Wellingborough, Selby, Andover and Gainsborough will supply flour for the company's baking and grocery business.

The move is also expected to have an impact on central management jobs as Premier said it would no longer need a separate management team for the mills supplying flour to its own businesses.

St Albans-based Premier said it needed to make "tough decisions" to secure the future of the milling business and help turn trading around at its struggling bread division.

Bob Spooner, managing director of Premier Foods' bread division and group supply chain director, said: "We recognise the impact this proposal will have for our employees in Barry and we thank them for their contribution over the years.

"However, it's not possible to continue on the current path given excess capacity in the marketplace."

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