Cromer Crab: 109 jobs to go when Norfolk factory closes

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Media captionCrab production will transfer to Young's Seafood's plant in Grimsby

The factory producing Cromer crab and other prawn and lobster products in Norfolk is to close by August with the loss of 109 jobs.

Youngs Seafood is transferring operations to its Humberside site, although crab will still be bought and processed in Norfolk.

The decision was made after an eight month consultation.

Profit levels from the plant and costs were not sustainable, a company statement said.

Pete Ward, chief operating officer, said: "We have looked long and hard at this and I'd like to stress that this move does not reflect on the committed and experienced team in Cromer.

"Our priority is to continue to fulfil customer contracts, alongside ensuring that the employees affected by this announcement get the support they need."

The company said the significant factors considered which led to the decision to close included short-term and long-term costs, financial sustainability, quality and technical requirements, and the manufacturing capabilities of the site.

North Norfolk Labour Party expressed its shock and disappointment.

Members had worked alongside employees and celebrities in a campaign to keep the company open as it employs 5% of townspeople and as the crab is iconic to the seaside town.

Name to remain

Last September the party set up the "Keep It Cromer" campaign and its petition attracted support from Delia Smith, Stephen Fry and Matthew Pinsent.

The petition collected 7,000 names and was handed in to Young's by the then party chairman and MEP Richard Howitt.

Tom FitzPatrick, who is responsible for economic development at North Norfolk District Council, said: "This is a bitter blow to Cromer.

"The committed and dedicated team at Cromer Crab have worked with Young's Seafood to try and find a solution which would keep this facility open.

"The council will assist those who will lose their jobs, over the next couple of months, to seek new opportunities.

"I welcome Young's statement that the Cromer Crab name will remain in Cromer."

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