Devon

Okehampton firm Kerry Ingredients could shed 106 jobs

More than 100 jobs could go in Devon with the planned closure of a food processing factory.

Kerry Ingredients in Okehampton says the site is unviable and wants to move production to another factory in Tenbury, Shropshire.

All 106 members of staff will be offered the chance to relocate after the planned closure of the plant in March 2012.

Three other big local employers have laid off more than 300 workers in 2011.

A spokesman for Kerry Ingredients said: "The Okehampton site is quite restricted in size and we are now informing employees about consultation with a view to finalising plans for future development of the business.

"It may mean consolidation on one site and it may mean transfer of the business from Okehampton to Tenbury."

Any employees who wanted to move would get help with relocating.

Tim Jones of Devon and Cornwall Business Council said: "It's a complete bolt out of the blue following the job losses we experienced about three months ago.

"We have been looking at all the companies in the area and there was no clue about this."

Robert Wiseman Dairies announced in January that 69 jobs were to go with the closure of its Okehampton plant, before Polestar Foods laid off 232 people two weeks later.

After going into administration in March, Browne's Chocolates axed 20 jobs.

Browne's and Polestar have now both restarted production, on a smaller scale than previously.

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