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Times Echo and Life / All News / FACTORY SALE SAVES JOBS
5 months, 25 days agoNo Comments.
22 FEB


By timesecholife on in All News, Uttoxeter news

HUNDREDS of jobs at a Uttoxeter factory have been saved after a buyer was found for the business.

Elkes Biscuits, which has 100 years of heritage in the town, has been purchased by the Boparan Private Office – after almost six months of uncertainty.

The sale saves the site from closure and means 520 workers will keep their jobs.

Staff at the factory were told last week that the business had been sold, after owner 2 Sisters Food Group, announced it was looking to sell last September.

The Elkes Biscuit Factory, in Cheadle Road, has been in operation in various forms – and under different names – for more than a century.

Now, the Boparan Private Office, which owns a number of food production and high street names including Bernard Matthews, Carluccios, Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner, is looking to build a sustainable long-term future for the site.

Uttoxeter Site Director, Kevin Hand said: “We’re really delighted to be able to continue the 100-year-old biscuit-making story in Uttoxeter now we have a new owner.

“The opportunity with the Boparan Private Office opens up a fresh new chapter for us and gives us the best possible chance to grow and develop the business.

“What became apparent last year when there was so much uncertainty about the future of the factory was just how much the local community loved and cared for Elkes Biscuits.

“Many generations of families have either worked here or still work here, and it clearly means so much to so many people.

“So to be able to announce this great news and save this site and the hundreds of jobs that go with it will hopefully bring a smile to many people’s faces.

“But the hard work starts now: we want to build a long-term sustainable business here and bring through more generations of people.

“There will hopefully be more opportunities for people locally as we grow with our new owner. It’s a very exciting time for all of us.”

Elkes was acquired by 2 Sisters as part of Fox’s Biscuits in 2011, reverting to the original Elkes name after the Fox brand and sites at Batley and Kirkham were sold in 2020.

However, by September 2021, 2 Sisters said the site had been ‘significantly loss making’ and confirmed a consultation process had begun with employees at the factory.

A spokesman for Elkes said: “We are very pleased to announce that Elkes Biscuits in Uttoxeter has been sold to the Boparan Private Office (BPO).

“This sale ends a period of uncertainty for the site after the consultation with colleagues at the end of last year about a proposed closure of the factory.

“We were always clear that we were looking to find a purchaser of the business as an alternative to closure, so it is very satisfying to successfully complete this transaction.

“This is good news for the business and the town, securing the immediate future of the site and keeping alive the 100-year biscuit-making heritage in Uttoxeter.”

Kate Griffiths, MP for Uttoxeter, welcomed the news that a buyer had been found. She said: “The news last September that the Elkes Biscuit factory and 500 local jobs were at risk caused a great deal of uncertainty and worry.

“I am delighted that a buyer has now been found, which gives this site a future and an opportunity for the business to grow and provide new opportunities locally.

“As I said back in the autumn, the town of Uttoxeter is very proud to make many of the nation’s favourite biscuits.

“I am pleased that the new investor recognises this, and today’s news is very welcome for the workforce and the wider town.”

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