Adminstrators offer hope over 400 lost jobs –

Adminstrators offer hope over 400 lost jobs Published:  19 January, 2009

HOPES of saving almost 400 jobs at the frozen Findus seafood factory at Long Benton, near Newcastle were dashed at the weekend when redundancy notices were handed out.

But the administrators who were called in last week still think they may be able to find a buyer, giving rise to speculation that at least part of the workforce could be re-engaged at some period in the future.

Newcastle Production, which runs the factory and produces Findus products under licence, announced ten days ago it had serious cash flow problems, a week after a large part of the plant was gutted by a blaze, causing an estimated £20 million damage.

Administrators, Zolfo Copper, said that redundancies had to be made because of the amount of damage caused by the fire. ‘However, as a result of a fire on site prior to our appointment as administrators, the facility is closed while damage and options are assessed. Unfortunately this means that we have had to make the majority of the workforce formally redundant. The GMB union said it was devastating news and families would struggle.’

But Simon Wilson, one of the Zolfo Cooper partners said he had been encouraged by the level of interest shown by a number of prospective purchasers. He added: ‘We are continuing to explore all options and we remain confident a sale can be achieved.

‘The factory, which is not part of the main Foodvest owned Findus European company, produces fish fingers and other seafood and frozen food products.’ is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.