Hovis production line closure threatens over 100 jobs

By Alice Foster contact

- Last updated on GMT

Hovis has announced plans to close a bread production line in Wigan
Hovis has announced plans to close a bread production line in Wigan

Related tags: Bread

Hovis plans to close a bread production line at its bakery in Wigan, threatening more than 100 jobs.

The bread maker also plans to combine logistics and manufacturing functions at sites in Bradford, Nottingham and Avonmouth.

These mergers and the restructuring of the firm’s central logistics management team could result in further job losses.

Hovis chief operations officer Simon Devereux said the company had identified the need to streamline two key areas as part of an ongoing supply chain review.

‘Reduction in demand’

“Firstly, to align bread production with the forecasted reduction in demand, we are proposing the closure of the line at our Wigan Bakery, placing 111 roles at risk,” ​Devereux said.

“Secondly, we are proposing to combine our logistics and manufacturing functions at our Bradford, Nottingham and Avonmouth sites, as well as restructuring our central logistics management team, which could potentially result in a further reduction in roles.”

He confirmed that the crumpet production line and logistics operation in Wigan would not be affected by the jobs cuts and restructuring.

“We are now consulting with the colleagues potentially affected by this proposal,” ​he said.

‘Devastating’ for workers 

Bakery and Allied Food Workers’ Union (BFAWU) regional secretary Geoff Atkinson slammed the cuts as “devastating”​ news for workers and the local community.

“This announcement came completely out of the blue, as we had only recently seen the seventeen sack plant closed and moth-balled in July of this year with the loss of forty jobs, following the consultation period,”​ Atkinson said.

Last year the Hovis bakery in Leicester announced its closure​ with the loss of more than 200 jobs.

The closure was part of plans to streamline breadmaking operations, according to Hovis Limited – a joint venture between Premier Foods and the US Gores Group.

In 2014 Premier and Gores Group launched the £87.5M joint​ venture to run its troubled Hovis bread and flour business.

View from union

“This announcement came completely out of the blue, as we had only recently seen the seventeen sack plant closed and moth-balled in July of this year with the loss of forty jobs, following the consultation period.”

  • Geoff Atkinson, regional secretary, Bakery and Allied Food Workers’ Union 

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2 comments

Necessary Evils

Posted by Alex Eshelby,

The trade-off that needs to be realised, is that failure to act now would result in far more job losses down the line (no pun intended).

I empathise with those who it affects, however it is a challenging time to be a manufacturer within the UK and these decisions are not taken lightly.

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Hovis bakery closure

Posted by Anita Unsworth,

Another job blow for Wigan. Also 112 jobs at Betfred in Wigan.

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