Tangerine Confectionery has today (6 March) announced it is planning to close one of its two Blackpool factories.

More than 160 staff at the Clifton Road site have been told they will be affected by the proposed changes, and the company has started a consultation process.

The news comes two months after Tangerine announced former United Biscuits boss Benoit Testard had been appointed chief executive following the surprise departure of Graham Hunter, who joined the business two years ago from Northern Foods. Testard is set to take up his new role on Monday (10 March).

Tangerine, which makes brands including Butterkist, Wham, Dip Dab and Sherbet Fountain, is set to transfer production and equipment from Clifton Road to other sites including its other Blackpool factory in Vicarage Lane. It also operates from sites in Pontefract, York, Liverpool and Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire. Clifton Road is expected to close by the end of March 2015.

“These changes at Clifton Road are fundamental to creating sustainable jobs in Blackpool and elsewhere in our UK factories and underpin our future competitiveness as a British confectionery manufacturer,” said operations and supply chain director Nigel Nelson. “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.”