550 jobs under threat at Cumbrian Seafoods Published: 04 January, 2012
MORE than 500 jobs are under serious threat at the three former Cumbrian Seafoods factory sites, bought by rivals Youngs Seafood a month ago.
The company made the shock, but not entirely unexpected, announcement last night stating that it was starting formal consultations with the Cumbrian staff at Seaham in County Durham and at Whitehaven and Border Laird in Amble on the West Coast to explore options and proposals for the facilities. Cumbrian Seafoods went into administration on December 5th and Youngs private equity owners Lion Capital then acquired the customer contracts and equipment from the administrators.
Youngs said in a statement last night: During December executives from Youngs Seafood Limited, Lion Capitals existing fish and seafood business, spent time at the former Cumbrian Seafoods sites, talking to members of staff and reviewing operations. It is clear from the fact that Cumbrian Seafoods went into administration that the business model for the Cumbrian sites was not financially viable and restructuring is now needed.
To this end, we are proposing the integration and servicing of customer contracts by Youngs Seafood Limited and the movement of volume between sites. This will be discussed in detail and we will look across all Youngs Seafood Limiteds sites and the former Cumbrian Seafoods sites. If, following consultation, this proposal is implemented, it could result in the loss of up to 363 jobs in Seaham, 112 jobs in Whitehaven and 80 jobs at the Border Laird site in Amble.
Pete Ward, Chief Operating Officer of Youngs Seafood Limited, said: We want to ensure that we deliver quality products for our customers in the most effective and efficient way. This is the beginning of a journey and we will draw on the knowledge and experience of the employees at the sites.
“This move does not reflect on the committed and skilled teams in Seaham, Whitehaven and Amble, who are continuing to work hard through this time, which is a huge credit to the whole workforce. However, it is clear from the fact that the business went into administration that the current business model is not viable. We continue to be focused on fulfilling customer contracts and talking, in detail, with the employees about options for the future.
Youngs Seafood Limited is a leading supplier of chilled and frozen, branded and own-label fish and seafood to consumers and customers. Youngs Seafood Limited employs around 3,200 people across 13 UK sites.
The former Cumbrian Seafoods large scale Seaham site produces a wide range of fish and seafood including white fish and prawns. The Whitehaven former Cumbrian Seafoods site is a primary processor and smoker of fish. The former Cumbrian Seafoods Border Laird site is a primary processor of Langoustines and has fishcake making facilities. Young’s said further announcements on the sites would follow.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that so many people at the Young’s owned Cromer Crab Company have come forward for voluntary redundancy that the need for compulsory lay-offs will probably be avoided.