Walkers to cut 380 jobs as it closes Peterlee factory

County Durham's Walkers factory is to close, putting 380 jobs at risk

PepsiCo UK plans to close its Walkers crisp factory in Country Durham, putting 380 jobs at risk.

Crisps production at the Peterlee factory would be moved to other facilities in the UK, PepsiCo UK – Walkers owner – revealed on Wednesday (March 1). Moving the operations would boost manufacturing efficiency, it claimed.

PepsiCo UK Peterlee manufacturing director Tracey Foster said: “In order to improve the efficiency of our UK snacks manufacturing operations, we are proposing the closure of our factory at Peterlee. Crisps currently produced at the site would be manufactured at our other facilities in the UK.

“Peterlee has been an important site for our business but the changes we are proposing present significant productivity and efficiency savings crucial for ensuring the long-term sustainable growth of our business in the UK.”

‘Efficiency savings’

The manufacturer will now open consultations with staff and their representatives. PepsiCo UK insisted staff would receive full support in light of the job losses.

“We appreciate this is upsetting news for everyone at the Peterlee site,” Foster said. “It is a difficult proposal for us to put forward and we want to make clear that it in no way reflects the performance of our colleagues at Peterlee, who we are grateful to for their hard work and commitment.

“No decisions will be made without first consulting employees and their representatives. We would also like to reassure colleagues that we will be providing on-going support and assistance from this point onwards.”

380 face job losses

There are currently 355 staff working in production at the site, and a further 25 working in supply chain. All 380 face job losses at the end of the year, the GMB union claimed.

The union said it would challenge the decision to close the factory.

GMB regional organiser Michael Hunt said: “It’s terrible news for the employees. They have not given too much information but I have a further meeting with them on March 15 when I will drill down into the detail.

“They say production has been low at Peterlee, lower than at other UK sites, but I will be challenging that, obviously. This is terrible news for our members – the employees – and their families, and for the town of Peterlee.”

Member of Parliament for Easington Grahame Morris – the area’s local MP – took to Twitter to describe the planned job losses as a “bitter blow”. See the tweet below.

Meanwhile, the Peterlee facility revealed 50 job cuts at the site in 2010.

Walkers Peterlee job losses – at a glance
  • 380 jobs at risk
  • PepsiCo UK revealed plans to close facility
  • Production would be moved elsewhere in the UK
FoodManufactureJobs Set up a Job Alert

Related News

Walkers' factory petition nears 2,000 signatories

Petition to keep Walkers site open nears 2,000

The Snack, Nut and Crisp Manufacturers' Association said the results of a recent acrylamide investigation should not be looked at in isolation

Snacks sector hits back over crisp acrylamide claims

Diageo was slammed by unions over its 105 job cuts (Flickr/Mustafa Khayat)

Diageo’s ‘105 job cuts a gross betrayal’ of staff

Bakkavor's recruitment drive continues, with 86 vacancies posted at its Cucina Sano site

Bakkavor to hire 86 staff in recruitment drive

PepsiCo confirmed its Walkers Peterlee factory will close by December 31

Walkers ‘will close’ Peterlee factory: 355 jobs at risk

Village Bakery will create 50 jobs

Village Bakery to add 50 jobs and 12 apprenticeships

Demand for staff is at a 21-month high, claimed the Recruitment & Employment Confederation

Staff shortages as EU workers leave ‘in droves’

More than 2,000 planned job cuts in the food industry have been reported since the beginning of this year

Job cuts in the food and drink industry – in pictures

Food and drink supply chain firms have planned to create more than 5,000 jobs so far this year

Food and drinks jobs created in 2017 – in pictures

Turkey producer Bernard Matthews plans 150 job cuts

Bernard Matthews plans up to 150 job cuts in Norfolk

McCain Foods plans to cut 74 jobs at its Scarborough site (Flickr/David Holt)

McCain Foods plans to cut 74 jobs

Heck is to create 50 jobs at its new factory. Marketing and events planner Jack Tate pictured

Heck to create 50 jobs at new factory

Lidl panned to create 360 jobs at its new distribution centre

Lidl to create 360 jobs at new distribution centre

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.