WORKERS facing redundancy at an East Durham factory are to be thrown a jobs lifeline – 150 miles away.
Young’s Seafood has confirmed it is shutting the former Cumbrian Seafoods plant on Seaham’s Foxcover Industrial Estate, which it took over last December, with the loss of more than 280 jobs.
Now employees at the site are to be told they will be given priority when 321 new jobs are advertised at the firm’s factories in Grimsby.
However, it is understood the re-location and type of work on offer means that few members of staff are expected to take up the opportunities.
Chief executive Leendert den Hollander said production of seafood would be expanded at its two North East Lincolnshire sites, with the 776 staff currently employed increased to more than 1,000.
Those affected by plant closures in the North West and East Anglia will also be considered first.
“Our footprint consolidation is about achieving the most robust and sustainable manufacturing operating model for the long-term,” said Mr Hollander.
“We have made some tough choices as we have adjusted to the economic environment and to achieve our long-term objectives.
“While we recognise that the general economic environment remains challenging, we are confident that we are taking the necessary steps for the future.”
After an eight-month consultation in Cromer, North Norfolk, it was announced all shellfish processing with the exception of the Cromer crab would move to North East Lincolnshire.
Bosses stated that “Young’s factories in Grimsby offer the most financially viable and sustainable option”.
Factors considered included short and long-term costs, financial sustainability, quality and technical requirements, and the manufacturing capabilities of the site.
A total of 109 jobs will go there this summer, on top of the 380 announced at Seaham and Whitehaven.
Recruitment agency Stafforce will handle the bulk of the new positions in Grimsby, which are expected to be “phased in” over the next six weeks.
Director Tony Boorman said: “Young’s is a key business in Grimsby, a massive brand. It is always innovating and creating opportunities.
“There will be various roles in manufacturing, semi-skilled roles, administrative roles and management positions.”
Cumbrian went into administration last December and was bought by Young’s Seafood’s parent company Lion Capital.
The firm has been in formal talks with staff since January.