Pilgrim's Ashton plant closure - NPA comment
18th May 2023 / By Alistair Driver
NPA chief executive Lizzie Wilson said news that Pilgrim's UK is planning to close its Ashton site, in Greater Manchester, as 'disappointing, but not surprising'.
The pork processor and producer said the proposals, which leave more than 500 members of staff potentially facing redundancy, was part of the company’s 'ongoing footprint review'. The business, which has struggled financially in recent years, said it was aiming to ensure the best structure for its long-term growth and development, while ‘mitigating the current unfavourable market conditions in the UK’.
In order to continue to optimise the business’ operational footprint, Pilgrim’s UK executive team has now proposed to close the Ashton site and transfer existing operations to its facilities in Spalding, Westerleigh and Bromborough.
Closure of the 70-year-old site would put all 542 Ashton staff, at all levels, at risk of redundancy. The proposals will, however, create 90 additional roles split between Westerleigh, Spalding and Bromborough. Pilgrim’s will now enter into a period of collective consultation with site union and employee representatives.
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NPA chief executive Lizzie Wilson said: “With the breeding herd down 25% in two years and slaughter numbers dropping 20% year on year, this news is disappointing for everyone involved although not a surprise.
“We need to ensure that the UK maintains sufficient slaughter capacity so that as the sector recovers, it is able to expand and thrive into the future.”