Statement on Solway Foods

I am very sad to learn that following the 45 day consultation period Solway Foods has decided its site in Corby is no longer financially viable and is to close. I know that this will be a blow to the workers and to their families.

The company has told me that this closure will be in two phases. The first phase of releasing over 500 people is taking place between now and 5th April and comprises both voluntary and compulsory redundancies. Phase 2 and the closure of the site is expected to be complete by late summer. Solway Foods has also stated that some people may be redeployed elsewhere in the 2 Sisters Food Group.

I have been working with representatives from Corby Borough Council, Northamptonshire County Council, the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership, the Department of Work & Pensions, the Department of Business Innovation & Skills and the Skills Funding Agency as part of a Taskforce that was set up as soon as I heard that the company had started these consultations. Our original aim was to provide the company with various types of support that would keep this business in the town and save the threatened jobs.  Various offers were made to support the company, including an offer to help with relocating to a new site in Corby and I am disappointed that Solway were not prepared to look at this option.

The Taskforce is now focusing on trying to help as many Solway Foods workers into other jobs or re-training as quickly as possible.

This Thursday, 27th March, a Jobs Fair will be held at Learnspace on Princewood Road, Corby, running from 12 noon to 6:00pm.  Both the venue and the timings have been selected to make it as easy as possible for workers on the various shift patterns to attend. We have had an excellent response from contacting local employers who have current vacancies. Whilst the main purpose of the event will be to promote jobs with these employers, other organisations will be present who are able to provide help with job search support, CV writing and advice on training/starting a new business.

Additionally, Northampton-based sandwich manufacturer Greencore is also offering a range of job opportunities to Solway Foods’ staff and is looking for around 200 additional people. Greencore is hosting a special Open Day for Solway workers at the Holiday Inn on Geddington Road, Corby on Monday 31st March and is inviting anyone interested in learning more about the company and these jobs to drop in between 2-8pm.

I, along with all the other members of the Taskforce, am committed to doing what I can to try to make sure that people who lose their job at Solway are able to find suitable employment quickly.

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