Norfolk

Colman's Mustard 'could stay in Norwich', claims business chairman

Jar and tin of Colman's Mustard
Image caption There is hope the Colman's Mustard brand could remain in Norwich

Colman's Mustard production could stay in Norwich with its owner looking at three city sites, it has been claimed.

Unilever said it could shut Colman's factory at Carrow Works after Britvic revealed plans in October to close its shared manufacturing operation.

Local Enterprise Partnership chairman Doug Field made the claim following a meeting with Business Secretary Greg Clark and Local MPs on Monday night.

Unilever said its review was still ongoing.

Mr Field, chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "Unilever is considering all the options. One of which involves staying at the Carrow Works site.

"There is another option over at the airport and one at the food enterprise zone," he said.

Image caption MP Chloe Smith said she hoped Unilever would "look favourably" upon staying in Norwich

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith, who led the Norfolk delegation to Westminster, said it was an anxious time for workers, with 113 jobs at risk at Colman's and 242 at Britvic.

She said she would like both businesses to stay in Norwich.

"We wanted to get across to the secretary of state that he could influence these decisions and he's agreed he will make contact with both Britvic and Unilever this week," said Ms Smith, Conservative.

"While Britvic have outlined their business reasons for what they wish to do, I think Unilever still have options in front of them, and are looking through those."

Drinks giant Britvic announced it was launching a consultation with staff at the beginning of October. It intends to transfer production of Robinsons and Fruit Shoot to elsewhere in the UK by 2019.

Image caption Hundreds of jobs are at risk if Unilever shuts the site it shares with Britvic

Unilever said a decision on the future of the Colman's site, which has been in operation since the 1860s, had not yet been made.

"We will update everyone with an outcome once our review is complete," a statement said.

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