The firm met with representatives from Norfolk District Council and its economic development team this week (May 28) to discuss its plans for the future of the Cromer site.
Councillor Tom Fitzpatrick, portfolio member for business enterprise and economic development at North Norfolk District Council, who attended the talks, told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “The news was definite closure by the end of June, by which time they [Young’s] will have run down 100 jobs. The factory will go up for sale in August.”
The District Council will work with Young’s Seafood regarding its plans for the disposal of the factory and to establish whether there might be interest from other food manufacturers.
Cromer’s “modern and purpose-built food production facility” had a lot to offer prospective buyers, according to Fitzpatrick. He estimated that about £10M had been spent on refitting the factory in the past four years.
“The council would rather it was offered for sale as a food factory rather than a development opportunity. The indications are that this is going to happen.”
Fitzpatrick said Young’s would consider offering the site as factory. Some of the equipment would be taken away to Grimsby but “they wouldn’t strip the factory”.
As volume production from Cromer’s Norfolk site will be transferred to Young’s factories in Grimsby, the seafood processor will give ex-Cromer employees priority consideration for jobs at the expanded premises in Lincolnshire.
Fitzpatrick said it was too early to say how many employees would be prepared to make the move. “We’re looking at the demographics to help people with relocation issues and reemployment,” he said. Young’s stated that they will help by giving staff time off to go to interviews. Some people might want to try moving up to Grimsby.
“They’re doing more than they need to, which is making the best of a difficult situation. At least the fact that it’s happened in the summer means that some people and get seasonal jobs.”