A total of 528 jobs are at risk after a food business has announced that it’s factory in an East Staffordshire town could close. Elkes Biscuits has announced that they are considering the potential closure of their Cheadle Road factory in Uttoxeter as they state it is “significantly loss making.”
A total of 528 jobs are at risk after a food business has announced that its factory in an East Staffordshire town could close.
Elkes Biscuits has announced that they are considering the potential closure of their Cheadle Road factory in Uttoxeter as they state it is “significantly loss making.”
The business has confirmed that there is currently 528 employees at the Uttoxeter site and that they are all being consulted over the proposals.
The Echo contacted Elkes Biscuits about the potential closure of the Uttoxeter factory. A spokesman said: “Following a wide-ranging strategic review, the Fox’s Biscuits business including the sites at Batley and Kirkham was sold in November 2020.
“Since that time, we have been reviewing all options for the Elkes business at Uttoxeter including turnaround opportunities and potential sale.
“The Uttoxeter site is significantly loss making and we have been unable to reverse this situation in the face of strong competitive pressure and cost inflation, nor have we been able to secure a viable offer for the business. We now believe the site is no longer commercially viable.”
They added: “Regrettably, we are now consulting with colleagues on our proposals, which includes the potential closure of the site. However, we are committed to exploring the full range of options available to us before any final decisions are made.
“We do not take this decision lightly and fully understand the impact if this proposal goes ahead.
“Our primary focus now will be to support our colleagues and their representatives during the consultation process to ensure we reach the best possible outcome for all parties.”
Meanwhile, union Unite is calling for potential buyers to step forward to purchase Elkes Biscuits.
A spokesman for Unite said: “Elkes Biscuits makes a fantastic range of popular Victorian-style biscuits and its possible loss would be an economic catastrophe for the town, and the workers and their families.
“The consultation opened on Thursday (September 30) and runs to March 2022, and so that provides ample opportunity for potential buyers to step forward to take over the Cheadle Road site, formerly known as Fox’s Biscuits.”
Unite regional officer Rick Coyle added: “The possible closure of Elkes Biscuits would be a catastrophe for the employees, their families and the wider regional economy. It is Uttoxeter’s biggest employer so the knock-on impact on the shops and hospitality outlets that rely on the spending power of the workforce would be substantial.
“However, we know that Elkes Biscuits has a wide range of biscuits that are very popular with consumers, and this is underpinned by a dedicated and hardworking workforce. All these factors make it an attractive proposition to another company wishing to buy the site.
“Unite wishes to work constructively with the management of the 2 Sisters Food Group during the consultation period until March to find a buyer. We would like to examine in detail the business case that is being put forward for the sale.
“We will also be giving our members maximum support during this anxious time.”
We are the only family run, independent newspaper and magazine business in Staffordshire, established 1896. We are home to three weekly newspapers – The Cheadle and Tean Times (aka The Stunner), The Uttoxeter Echo and The Leek & Moorlands Echo.
We also produce Peeps into the Past, a bi-monthly nostalgic glimpse into our photographic archives, and three bi-monthly glossy lifestyle magazines – Stone and Eccleshall Life, Leek Life and Newcastle Life.
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