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Wednesday, 19 September, 2001, 05:25 GMT 06:25 UK
Workers stunned by factory closure
Tinsley Foods, Holbeach St Mark's, Lincolnshire
Workers at Tinsley Foods are devastated by its closure
One of Lincolnshire's largest employers has gone into receivership and is to close later this week.

About 850 people will lose their jobs when Tinsley Food plant at Holbeach St Mark's ceases production on Thursday.

The factory supplies sandwiches and ready-made meals for Marks and Spencer and Safeway.

It first got into difficulty last year when it lost a major contract worth a third of its 65m turnover.

No buyer

It was hoped the 60-acre site could be sold as a going concern but no buyer could be found.

Receivers KPMG said the company was not sufficiently automated in a very competitive market.

Andy Shaw
Andy Shaw: "Employment going to be difficult"

But employees said they had been told on Thursday that a buyer had been found for the troubled company.

They have been stunned by the news that they will be out of a job by the end of the week.

Many left the factory in tears after being told it is to close while others said they felt they had been let down by the company.

'Shocked and upset'

One employee said: "I don't see that I have any future here anymore.

"It is one of those situations where at 61-year-old, who is going to employ you?"

Another added: "I am very shocked and upset.

"We were told on Thursday that a buyer had been found and now we have heard on television and radio that there isn't. I am not pleased."

The cuts are expected to devastate surrounding towns and villages with whole families relying on the Tinsley Food plant for work.

Factory closure

Andy Shaw, Transport and General Workers' Union representative, said: "There has been plenty of jobs available in the last four weeks in the local papers.

"But now with more than 800 employees looking for active employment, it is going to be all the more difficult."

About 780 staff will finish work on Thursday, when the factory closes.

Seventy will stay on for a short time as the business is wound up and the assets sold off.

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