380 seafood jobs go as axe finally falls on former Cumbrian sites – Fishupdate.com

380 seafood jobs go as axe finally falls on former Cumbrian sites Published:  23 May, 2012

YOUNG’S Seafoods has announced that it is closing the recently acquired former Cumbrian Seafoods sites in Seaham, County Durham and at Whitehaven in Cumbria with the loss of 380 jobs and moving production elsewhere.

The exact locations have yet to be announced, but it is likely  they will be at  existing Young’s sites in Grimsby and Scotland.

The centres affected were all owned by Cumbrian Seafoods until it went into administration last year. Young’s said the third former Cumbrian site at Border Laird may be sold.

Pete Ward, Chief Operating Officer of Young’s Seafood Limited, said: “Following formal consultations at the former Cumbrian Seafoods (now known as Ocean Pure) sites in Seaham and Whitehaven, lasting over three  months,  we are announcing that volume from these sites will be transferred into Young’s Seafood  existing facilities because this has been identified as the most sustainable option for the long-term.  

“Factors considered, as part of the consultation process, included cost, financial sustainability, quality and technical standards, and manufacturing capabilities of the sites. Unfortunately the phased transfer of volume is likely to result in the closure of the Seaham and Whitehaven sites with the loss of up to 281 jobs in Seaham and 99 jobs in Whitehaven, in the next month. We will confirm exactly how the volume will be distributed amongst Young’s Seafood Limited sites in the coming days with the aim of achieving the most robust and sustainable manufacturing operating model for the long-term.

 “Cumbrian Seafoods went into administration on December  5th 2011. Lion Capital then acquired selected assets from the administrators.  It is clear from the fact that Cumbrian Seafoods went into administration that restructuring is needed  To this end, in early January 2012, the formal consultation processes began with staff at the sites, to explore proposals and possible options for the facilities.”

 Mr Ward added: “The consultations at the Seaham and Whitehaven sites have involved numerous meetings with the employee representative groups and local stakeholders and alternative options were considered in detail. External experts, PWC, were also brought in to review the financial viability and sustainability of the various options for the future of the sites.“The formal consultation at the former Cumbrian Seafoods sites at Border Laird in Amble continues, we are exploring options including the outline possibility of a sale of the site, and this on-going consultation process is not affected by the developments regarding Seaham or Whitehaven.

 “We’d like to stress that this is not a decision that has been taken lightly and does not, in any way, reflect on the committed and experienced teams at these sites.  They have continued to work hard during this period and are a credit to the whole workforce. Our priority is to continue to fulfil customer contracts, alongside ensuring that the employees affected by this announcement get the support they need by working closely with them, local agencies and other key stakeholders.”