Tulip Manufacturing at Westerleigh

Up to 650 jobs could be lost after the pork giant said the two plants were ’significantly under-utilised’

Pilgrim’s UK is to press ahead with plans to close its Bury St Edmunds and Coalville factory sites, with up to 650 jobs at risk, following the conclusion of a staff consultation.

The pork giant said the site closures would follow a “phased process while the transfer of products to alternative Pilgrim’s UK sites takes place”.

The supplier had said in September that its recovery plan had identified some sites in its manufacturing estate were “significantly under-utilised in terms of operational capability and capacity”.

The proposed closure of the Bury St Edmunds and Coalville sites were part of a plan to ensure the company’s “operational footprint across the UK is fully optimised”, it added.

Existing operations would be transferred to alternative Pilgrim’s UK sites at Corsham, King’s Lynn, Linton and Andover, it added, on the announcement of the consultation two months ago.

“We would like to thank all of those involved in the process, for their outstanding professionalism and high-quality levels of service maintained during what we recognise has been a challenging time,” Pilgrim’s said in a statement.

“We are working closely with colleagues at risk of redundancy, providing them with support and guidance, including details of alternative opportunities within the Pilgrim’s UK network.”