This is what Star readers think of plans to close a Sheffield food factory

Star readers have reacted to news that hundreds of jobs will be lost when a major Sheffield food factory closes.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 12:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 1:26 pm

Pennine Foods in Beighton, part of the 2 Sisters Food Group, will close on May 21. There are 543 people on the payroll.

The company says the site is heavily loss making. But critics say it failed to invest, a planned £38m upgrade never happened, while hiring cheaper agency workers which forced down wages for permanent staff.

On The Star’s Facebook page, Ziggy Schofield said: ‘Sad for those who will be losing their jobs and hope they can get something soon.

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Pennine Foods in Sheffield.

‘Went for a sales job here once that was like minimum wage, and was interviewed by a panel of five managers for an hour or more. Little bit of overkill I thought. Didn't get it anyway. My luck...their loss.

Chris Marshall said: ‘If any engineers are looking for work let me know. Based in Wakefield but good rates of pay and amazing company.’

Sajad Khan: ‘Sad, sad news. 2 Sisters destroyed the site at Dronfield now reciprocated at Pennines. Hope they are happy.’

Hazem Dabis: ‘Feeling sorry for the staff losing their job. It’s a terrible place to work at and the pay is bad; the company deserves this loss as they’re greedy and don’t offer enough hours (or permanent positions) for staff. Hopefully something better is waiting for them.’

MP Clive 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 manufacturing company based in Birmingham. It employs more than 20,000 people and supplies own label, chicken and ready meals products to retailers and food service customers in the UK.

It also owns brands including Holland's Pies and Fox’s Biscuits and has sites throughout the UK, Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands and Poland.

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

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