Grimsby feels Icelandic Seachill –

Grimsby feels Icelandic Seachill Published:  06 February, 2014

NEWS that Icelandic Seachill could be set to shed up to 250 jobs at one of its Grimsby sites has been greeted with shock and bewilderment.

The company, which is part of the wider, Reykjavik-based Icelandic Group, said yesterday it was ceasing production of ready meals at its Coldwater ready meals site on the South Humberside Industrial Estate.

Top food retailer Marks & Spencer is one of Coldwater’s biggest customers. The company said a recent strategic review had highlighted the need for significant investment in their west side meals site.

The statement added: ‘This, coupled with a drop in consumer demand for ready meals has forced the business to propose to cease meal production and restructure the UK business, which could result in a head count reduction of up to 250 staff across the business. 

Steve Norton, chief executive of the Grimsby Fish Merchants Association, said: ‘This is a very sad day for Grimsby, for those who may lose their jobs, and especially for their families.

‘The food sector, and seafood in particular, is fiercely competitive and very fragile. Coldwater will not have made this decision lightly. It was probably taken to safeguard other jobs and other parts of their business’.

He added: ‘These are skilled people and I am sure many of them will be absorbed into other seafood companies in the area. But there is no doubt this is a big blow to the local economy.

‘It shows that away from the banking centre that is London, the economy is still very fragile. On the plus side the company’s other business, the Saucy Fish brand is proving to be very successful and has just attracted an important new customer in Waitrose.’

Leader of North East Lincolnshire (Grimsby) Council, Chris Shaw, said: ‘This is bad news and we will begin talks with the company today to see what can be done.

‘They have said they will try to absorb some of the workers effected into other parts of the business so at least that gives us some hope.’

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