Bosses at Solway Foods today (Monday, March 24) confirmed it is to close its Corby factory with the loss of 900 jobs.
Earlier this month the company announced that 567 workers are to be made redundant, including 321 night shift staff, 186 day shift employees and 60 people in salaried positions.
It was hoped the remaining positions at the Godwin Road plant could be saved.
A statement issued by the company said: “It is with much regret that we can confirm that, following a 45-day consultation period, we are closing our Solway Foods site in Corby.
“During consultation we have fully explored all the options available to us. Sadly, the fact remains that the site is no longer viable.
“Our priority now is to minimise the number of compulsory redundancies through voluntary redundancies or, where appropriate, redeployment elsewhere in the group.”
Solway said it would continue to work with a taskforce, which was set up to find ways of keeping the firm in Corby.
The company’s statement said: “A number of other local employers are liaising with the taskforce to help meet their own recruitment needs.
“Solway Foods would like to thank everyone involved with the Corby taskforce for their help during this difficult time, which has been invaluable.
“We will now work with our colleagues and customers to implement a phased closure. By April 5, phase one is expected to be complete with Phase two and site closure expected to be complete by late summer.”
Corby MP Andy Sawford, a member of the taskforce which includes Corby Council and county council representatives, Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, the Department of Work and Pensions and other enterprise agencies,said: “I am very sad to learn that following the 45-day consultation period Solway Foods has decided its site in Corby is no longer financially viable and is to close. I know that this will be a blow to the workers and to their families.
“Our original aim was to provide the company with various types of support that would keep this business in the town and save the threatened jobs. Various offers were made to support the company, including an offer to help with relocating to a new site in Corby and I am disappointed that Solway were not prepared to look at this option.
“The Taskforce is now focusing on trying to help as many Solway Foods workers into other jobs or re-training as quickly as possible.”
A jobs fair for Solway workers which was planned for Thursday (March 27) will still go ahead and 18 companies have signed up to take part.
It is being held at Learnspace in Princewood Road, Corby, from midday to 6pm.
Among the firms taking part are Whitworths which is hoping to fill 20 vacancies.
Northampton company Greencore, which is hoping to recruit an extra 200 workers, is hosting an open day for Solway workers at the Holiday Inn in Geddington Road, Corby, on Monday, March 31, from 2pm until 8pm.
Leader of Corby Council, Tom Beattie, said: “The job losses at Solway Foods is a massive blow and a huge disappointment. The taskforce has been working hard to avoid this situation.
“However, it will continue to work hard to support those losing their jobs.
“To lose 900 jobs in a town the size of Corby is a big blow. The redundancies will have an impact on 900 families and on the local economy.”