More than 100 jobs are to be lost in a double blow for Blackpool as two household names announced redundancies.
National DIY chain B&Q has confirmed that its mini-warehouse at Holyoake Avenue in Bispham is to close next year. And Burton’s Biscuits has said a restructuring has led to the loss of 87 temporary jobs at its Devonshire Road factory.
B&Q has said bosses will try to find jobs for the staff at its other Blackpool store at Hallam Way or within the parent group Kingfisher which also owns Screwfix.
The company warned in March in its half year trading update that it would be looking to close 60 of its 360 stores nationwide.
This month it revealed further details of its plans and announced the closure of nine stores in Wales and five in Northern Ireland as it shifts its focus to its Screwfix hardware chain which it plans to increase by up to 200 outlets.
Staff at the Bispham warehouse were told this week that it would be closing.
All staff members have been told they are not allowed to talk about it closing with anyone or we will be suspended, but I feel people need to know how we are being treated
One member of staff, who did not want to be named, said: “This store will be closing it’s doors for the last time in the next few months leaving lots of people without jobs.
“All staff members have been told they are not allowed to talk about it closing with anyone or we will be suspended, but I feel people need to know how we are being treated.
“We have been told that there are not many jobs on offer in other B&Q’s in the area so the staff that have worked here for 20 years are just going to be out on their ears.
“They are offering redundancy packages but the amounts are poor.”
Another member of staff said: “It’s very sad, many people have worked here for a long time.”
A spokesman for B&Q said: “We have let colleagues at our Blackpool store
know that their store is one of those planned for closure next financial year – 2016/17.
“Our focus for the coming months is on redeploying as many colleagues as we can within B&Q and the Kingfisher Group.”
Burton’s employs 500 in Blackpool at its Devonshire Road plant which in January launched a new line in Maryland Soft Baked cookies.
It said the seasonal nature of demand for its products was the reason for cutting jobs.
Chris Clarke, factory general manager, north west region at Burton’s Biscuit Company, said: “Burton’s Biscuit Company can confirm that a business restructuring process has taken place at its Blackpool manufacturing facility.
“This is due to the nature of seasonal demand and has led to a reduction of 87 temporary roles.
“We continually look at how we can optimise our organisational effectiveness to better align the facility to current production needs.
“This ensures we have the optimum workforce for production levels moving forward.
“It would not be appropriate at this stage to discuss individuals who may be affected by this situation.
“Burton’s Biscuit Company remains a significant employer in Blackpool, providing more than 500 jobs to the local community.
“We have a long heritage in the town and remain committed to Blackpool as a key site for our operations.”