The jobs of 166 Blackpool sweet makers are under threat after Tangerine Confectionery announced it was to close one of its factories.
The Mojos, Taveners fruit drops and Liquorice Allsorts maker said it is to move production and equipment from its Blackpool Clifton Road factory as part of a UK-wide reshaping of its manufacturing capabilities.
It means the Clifton Road site is set to close by March 2015.
The employees were told yesterday and a consultation process has begun.
The move follows an announcement in December that the company, which employs 340 in Blackpool, was carrying out a review of all its sites. Later that month it appointed Benoit Testard as its new chief executive in a change around at the top.
The jobs threat news was greeted with dismay by Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden. Mr Marsden spoke to Tangerine founder and chairman Stephen Joseph yesterday.
Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “This is devastating news for the people employed by Tangerine Confectionery and their families. We will offer every assistance we can to the staff faced with redundancy.”
A company statement said the proposed changes “will safeguard Tangerine’s long term contribution to Blackpool’s economic landscape.”
Nigel Nelson, operations and supply chain director, said: “These changes at Tangerine are fundamental to creating sustainable jobs in Blackpool and elsewhere in our UK factories and underpin our future competitiveness as a British confectionery manufacturer.
“Our primary concern at this stage is the welfare of our employees and we are committed to do all that we can to support them through the consultation period and beyond.”
Has your family been affected by the announcement? Call our Newsdesk on (01253) 361842
See The Gazette on Friday for the full story