Pennine Foods: 600 redundancies as Sheffield food factory announces closure

Six hundred jobs will be lost when a Sheffield food factory closes in May.

By David Walsh
Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 4:24 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 5:07 pm

The Pennine Foods site in Beighton will wind down from the end of March and cease production on May 21.

Bosses launched a consultation in October saying the site was heavily loss-making.

A spokesman said today: “Regretfully we confirmed closure of our loss-making Pennine Foods site in Sheffield in November following our 45-day consultation.

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Pennine Foods in Sheffield.

“The business concluded we had no viable option left except to transfer product to our other sites in order to reverse these losses, and therefore cease production at Pennine.

“It was not an easy decision and our continued focus has been to support colleagues as we wind down production from the end of March to mid-May.

“This gradual wind down has enabled us to explore all avenues including redeployment opportunities at our other sites and offering support with gaining roles outside the business.”

The factory is part of the 2 Sisters Food Group.

Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts said the firm had outlined plans to spend £38m modernising the plant but never put them into action.

He added: “There were no complaints about the quality of the material and the way the workers worked. The company has failed to invest. The plant is many years old and they couldn’t make it competitive even after cutting wages.”

Mr Betts said Pennine had attacked the terms and conditions and wages of long term staff by hiring agency workers on worse rates.

“This has allowed them to force down wages until people were paid just a bit more than the minimum wage.”

Mr Betts said Sheffield City Council was organising a jobs fair at the factory on March 5 and 6 and had signed six employers to attend.

2 Sisters Food Group is a privately-owned food manufacturing company based in Birmingham. It employs more than 20,000 people.

On January 10, 2 Sisters’ parent company Boparan Holdings Ltd agreed a £35m finance facility secured against the assets of Cavaghan & Gray Ltd, a chilled ready meals business within Group’s portfolio.

The facility, which matures in June 2021, will be used for ‘general corporate purposes,’ the firm said.