Page last updated at 19:27 GMT, Thursday, 19 March 2009

Meat factory closure is confirmed

Danepak ham
The Bromborough factory produces cured cooked meats

A meat processing factory in Wirral will close in May despite attempts by unions to save it and 300 jobs.

Managers at Tulip Ltd rejected a union plan to try to save the Bromborough plant saying it could not find the investment needed to improve the site.

"The infrastructure of the site restricts our operation to slicing," said Peter Judge, Tulip Ltd's managing director North East.

Production will be transferred on a phased basis to other Tulip sites.

A rescue plan had been put forward by unions after the company announced its closure plans earlier in the year.

Mr Judge added: "We deeply regret that we have had to take the decision to close our Bromborough site, I can assure you that we did, with the help and support of trade union representatives, try very hard to look for ways in which to avoid closure.

The decision to close the factory is not in any way a reflection on the skill and dedication of the workforce
Peter Judge, Tulip Ltd managing director North East

"However, given the current economic climate and changing nature of our business, it was simply not possible to find a realistic alternative.

"The infrastructure of the site restricts our operation to slicing and the level of investment needed to adapt it to incorporate processing, storage, butchery, and dispatch is totally prohibitive, particularly given that we already have these capabilities and spare capacity at existing Tulip UK facilities.

"The decision to close the factory is not in any way a reflection on the skill and dedication of the workforce."

He said the company would be looking to help employees secure new jobs elsewhere.

Ben Chapman, Labour MP for Wirral South, has said the closure of the Bromborough site was disappointing.



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