Tyne & Wear

Alcan Lynemouth smelter sees 290 workers lose jobs

Alcan plant at Lynemouth
Image caption The smelter opened in 1972

The majority of workers at the Alcan plant in Northumberland have been to work at the site for the final time.

Rio Tinto Alcan, which owns the aluminium smelter in Lynemouth, is closing the site due to the high cost of energy.

Of the 515 workers, 290 have been spending their last day at the plant.

The company is continuing to employ 190 people on other operations or decommissioning but all these posts are due to end by the start of 2013.

John McCabe, the company's regional economic development director, said: "It is indeed a sad day, and as colleagues leave we wish them all the best for the future."

Ian Lavery, Labour MP for Wansbeck said: "It's the largest private sector manufacturer in Northumberland, and brings about £60m into the local economy.

"This will have a huge impact.

"My heart is with the people who will be leaving the plant for the last time."

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