BREAKING: 500 could lose jobs in Corby as factory set to close

Food Utopia in Corby, where up to 500 jobs look set to go NNL-180427-130429005
Food Utopia in Corby, where up to 500 jobs look set to go NNL-180427-130429005

Three hundred permanent members of staff and up to two hundreds agency workers look set to lose their jobs after one of Corby’s biggest employers announced the start of a 45-day consultation period.

Workers at Food Utopia, the former Solway Foods plant in Godwin Road, were told the devastating news that bosses want to close the factory in August.

No Caption ABCDE NNL-180427-125116005

No Caption ABCDE NNL-180427-125116005

The firm has declined to answer calls from the Northants Telegraph but workers say they have been told that all their jobs are under threat. The company’s website has also had all its content removed.

Leader of Corby Borough Council Tom Beattie said the authority is willing to engage in talks with the company.

He said: “It’s a very disappointing to receive this news.

“It’s not what we want to hear.

“Corby continues to have ambition to grow and develop and we want to continue to attract investment.

“The council would be prepared to meet with the company and representatives for the workers and do what we can.

“We have previously worked with the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership where there have been redundancies and we will continue to do so to see if there is any assistance we can offer.”

This is the largest scale redundancy threat in Corby for many years.

In 2015, boat maker Fairline was threatened with closure with 450 jobs at risk. Many of those who lost their jobs were later employed by a new company set up on the same site.

In 2009, up to 370 staff were made redundant at RS Components.

And nearly 400 jobs went when Valassis moved most of its operations to Poland.

In 2014, when closure at Food Utopia was last threatened, there were estimated to be 310 workers with up to 600 more agency staff employed at various times.

Food Utopia took over the plant from 2 Sisters, which had planned to close it along with its Avana Bakeries site in Wales in 2014. The owners had said it was unprofitable.

But a management buyout by Veepul Patel saved the Corby plant which makes sandwiches and baked goods for shops, along with its sister site in Newport.

But the Newport site closed last year after 60 years in operation, with the loss of 161 jobs.

The new William Jacksons Food Group Bakery opens soon in Corby and recruitment is ongoing. Workers at Food Utopia who may lose their jobs can search for vacancies at the bakery here