East of England Co-op to close distribution centre

East of England Co-op store Image copyright Geography Photos
Image caption The East of England Co-op plans to shut its Ipswich distribution centre in October

A supermarket group has announced plans to close a regional distribution centre, putting 155 jobs at risk.

East of England Co-op said it would fully join the national group's supply chain, meaning the closure of its Ipswich facility by October this year.

The business said affected workers would be spoken to about options, including redundancy or transferring to a new Co-op location in Essex.

The closure comes as part of redevelopment plans for the site.

The announcement came as Ipswich Borough Council's planning committee deferred its decision on the Co-op's plans to demolish the neighbouring former Dairy Crest plant at Boss Hall Business Park to build a gym and retail units, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

As part of the proposals, the distribution centre would also be converted into three units, including one for leisure.

East of England Co-op joint chief executive Roger Grosvenor said the Co-op had "confirmed to colleagues our proposal to fully join Co-op Group's National Integrated Supply Chain and close our distribution centre in October 2019".

He said: "We are speaking individually with everyone who will be affected, and our trade union partners, to explore options including redeployment and redundancy. Colleagues are also being offered the opportunity to transfer to a new Co-op Group location in Essex."

He added he was "disappointed" that the decision on the Dairy Crest site had been delayed, with the Co-op believing the proposals having the potential to create more jobs than are currently based at the site.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The distribution centre neighbours the former Dairy Crest plant site, also part of the Co-op's redevelopment plans

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