North East Wales

Paramount Foods on Deeside cut 41 more pizza jobs

Paramount Foods Ltd
Image caption Paramount Foods in Flintshire opened in 1998 at a former Heinz sauce manufacturing plant

A further 41 people are being made redundant at a Flintshire pizza factory where nearly a quarter of the workforce have already lost their jobs.

Paramount Foods, which employs 312 people on the Deeside Industrial Park, announced earlier this month that 76 jobs would go there.

Another 41 jobs are going at the firm's Salford base, plus 14 more to be divided between the two sites.

Paramount went into administration after losing a major contract.

Administrators are still trying to find a buyer for the firm, which is continuing to trade.

However a union official says he understands the remaining 194 workers at Deeside could be laid off unless there is a takeover soon.

The firm is one the UK's largest producers of chilled and frozen pizzas, with a total of 450 before the redundancies were announced.

Future uncertain

David Whitehouse of administrators Duff and Phelps said: "Whilst customers continue to be supportive of the business, inevitably order volumes have fallen and the company's declining turnover cannot sustain its existing level of overheads.

"Further redundancies were required at the Deeside site in order to enable continued trading in the short term whilst a purchaser is sought."

Mark Jones, regional organiser for the GMB union, said he was concerned for the long-term prospects of the remaining workforce.

"When I met the administrators last week, they told me that they'd had some expressions of interest from potential buyers for the factory," he said.

"But they can't keep it running at a loss and, if it's not returning a profit, I'm very concerned that a buyer is found quickly [or] the rest of the operation will close.

"There's not a not of time to save this business - it's only a short window - and it's been looking very precarious from the outset."

Paramount had moved to Deeside in 1998, with plans to become one of the largest pizza making centres of Europe, after taking over a mothballed Heinz sauce manufacturing plant.

The loss of a major contract, understood to be with a major supermarket chain, led to the company falling into administration.

Flintshire council has said it will do what it can to support local workers who need to find new employment.

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