Austin Macauley 19 January 2016

Council taskforce launched in response to Berwick factory closure

A taskforce led by Northumberland County Council has been set up following the planned closure of a major employer in Berwick.

Manufacturer General Mills officially announced this week that its food factory in the town would cease trading over the next few months.

The factory employs around 265 staff and produces a number of products including Jus-Rol pastry. Its closure was originally proposed in October last year.

Members of the taskforce – which include Berwick Town Council, Northumberland’s development company Arch, Jobcentre Plus, North East Chamber of Commerce and North East Local Enterprise Partnership – will offer tailored support to those affected.

Councillor Allan Hepple, the county council’s cabinet member for economic growth and chair of the taskforce, said: ‘This is very sad news for the county, and particularly for the staff who work in the factory, which has been a big employer in the town for many years.

‘We know this closure has affected some entire families who work at the factory and the taskforce will do absolutely everything it can to provide short, medium and long term support both to those directly affected, the town of Berwick and the wider economy.

‘We will also continue to press the government with the ongoing support from our local MP for any help they can give.

‘While there are clearly challenging times ahead this taskforce is committed to providing all the support it can to both the workforce and the wider community in Berwick and surrounding areas.’

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