A FOOD factory in a Northumberland seaside town is to close with the loss of nearly 40 jobs.
The Border Laird site at Amble is to close, it was announced yesterday, with 38 staff faced with being out of work.
The decision to close follows the collapse of a deal to sell the factory, which processes langoustines and makes fishcakes, as a going concern. The move was last night described as “a bitter disappointment”.
The factory at Amble was owned by Cumbrian Seafoods, which went into administration at the end of last year. It was then taken over by Young’s Seafood Limited, at the same time as Cumbrian’s factory at Seaham.
Young’s announced earlier this year that the Seaham site was to close, but said that talks over the future of the Amble factory were continuing.
Pete Ward, chief operating officer at Young’s, last night said: “Over recent months we have been exploring the option of selling the former Cumbrian Seafoods’ Border Laird business (now known as Ocean Pure) as a going concern. “Unfortunately the third party which had an interest in the langoustine business has now withdrawn their offer. We have no other third parties interested in buying the business.
“Following this development, and the collective consultation process, we have considered all options, and we are today announcing the closure of the Border Laird facility with the loss of the remaining 38 roles.”
Berwick Liberal Democrat MP Sir Alan Beith last night said: “This is a bitter disappointment when a solution and a future for the business seemed to be in place, and the workers at the factory will be devastated by the news.
“I will give any help I can to constituents who are affected by the closure. I have kept in touch with the business and the people at the factory during recent months and will be in discussions with ministers and others about Amble’s needs.
“Efforts to generate new jobs for the town need to be redoubled, at what is still a very difficult time for the economy.”
Mr Ward added: “Factors considered as part of the consultation process which has lasted over five months, included cost, financial sustainability, quality and technical standards, and manufacturing capabilities.
“We have explored all options in detail, including retaining the business, transferring the volume into Young’s facilities, and selling the business as a going concern but unfortunately no financially viable option has been found.”
The closure comes after 250 jobs were also lost in Amble with the collapse of the Northumberland Foods.