Page last updated at 13:59 GMT, Monday, 28 July 2008 14:59 UK

Puddings firm confirms job losses

Riviera Desserts
The Paignton factory will close in 2009

A factory in Devon which makes trifles and chocolate puddings has confirmed it is to close with the loss of 350 jobs.

Uniq will shut down its Riviera Desserts operation at Paignton in the autumn of 2009.

The company, which makes desserts for Marks and Spencer, said it was transferring production to Minsterley in Shropshire.

The confirmation of the closure came after a 90-day consultation process with workers and unions.

Uniq said it was closing the Paignton factory to consolidate its operations after making a pre-tax loss of 44.1m in 2007.

The company said that 50 staff would be made redundant this summer, with a further 100 leaving in the autumn.

The remaining 200 will be let go gradually next year.

Rick Turnbull, Uniq's UK chairman, said: "I would like to pay tribute to the continued level of professionalism and commitment that everyone at Paignton is demonstrating during what is clearly a very difficult time."

Dave Springbett from the Unite union said: "We think we got what we needed.

"Obviously it is not a great time because the factory is closing down and 350 people are losing their jobs.

"We're just trying to make a difficult situation as positive as possible."

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