Morrisons is set to close its Bradford fruit packing plant in a move that places 456 jobs on the line.
Morrisons is “consolidating” and moving operations to its other fruit packing site in Thrapston, Northampton, in the second half of 2023, the Bradford Telegraph and Argus reported.
The supermarket will try to employ those impacted in other manufacturing, logistics and retail sites in the local area, whilst 400 new roles will be created at the Thrapston plant and its Wakefield distribution centre.
The move will bring efficiency savings and a reduction of around 650,000 food miles annually, according to the grocer, which was bought by private equity giant CD&R for £7bn in 2021.
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A Morrisons spokesperson said: “Recent investments in the Thrapston site have created more capacity and space which has made consolidation of the two sites possible.
“Regrettably, the proposal to consolidate two sites means that there are 456 colleagues at Cutler Heights who are at risk of redundancy.
“We will do everything we can to employ those colleagues in other Morrisons manufacturing, logistics and retail sites in the local area.
The Bradford plant, named Cutler Heights, was the supermarket’s first-ever produce site and supplies 59 fruit products and 115 million packs of fruit a year. Morrisons plans to retain the site and repurpose it into a pet food manufacturing operation in the future.
The closure comes as Morrisons is set to transfer 300 contact centre jobs to Webhelp today. However, no redundancies will be made as part of the transfer.
Morrisons like-for-like sales edged up 1% in its second quarter. The supermarket giant’s total sales, excluding fuel, at £3.7bn, up by 3.1%, however, lower petrol and diesel sales meant overall sales down by 0.9% to £4.5bn.