Future of Colman's plant in Norwich under review

Fruit Shoot maker Britvic to close Norwich plant with loss of 242 jobs

"This is not a proposal that we make lightly and we know this is upsetting news for our colleagues", said Britvic CEO Simon Litherland.

The firm admitted it is considering the closure of the factory altogether - which could bring the end of the link between Colman's and the city of Norwich.

But the future of the plant is in doubt after Britvic, the soft drinks maker behind Robinsons, which co-owns the site, said it would be pulling out in 2019.

In a double blow for the city, Unilever has launched a review of its operations at the same site, putting a further 113 jobs at risk at its unit which produces Colman's Mustard.

Production from the Norwich site will be transferred to its other sites in East London, Leeds and Rugby.

"Britvic and Unilever's operations have been uniquely intertwined at the site for many years, relying on a shared infrastructure".

'One of those options will include the potential closure of our Norwich factory'.

Britvic said the aim was to improve efficiency and productivity and the plans would see the site close towards the end of 2019.

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However, Britvic clarified that its three-year £240m investment into its United Kingdom manufacturing operations remains on track and would not be affected by the Norwich move.

A major new factory was built at Widford, on the edge of Chelmsford, in 1954, where the Britvic clock tower, built at the same time, became a well-known local landmark.

The Unite union has approached "the entire of Norfolk" to battle the move.

"This is very painful news for our members and their families at Britvic and we will be giving the maximum support to our members at what is a very hard time in the days and weeks ahead".

"Join won't just look for confirmations, however applying weight with the goal that the creation and the genuinely necessary employments that are key for the Norwich economy remain".

National officer Rhys McCarthy said: 'The sad news that Britvic is closing its operations in Norwich also has an impact on Unilever workers who the share the same site.

Jeremiah Colman started a mustard and flour business in 1814 and in 1858 his great-nephew Jeremiah James Colman moved it to Carrow.

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