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Heinz to close Norfolk factory

The Heinz factory at Westwick, Norfolk. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Heinz has confirmed it will close its Westwick factory in Norfolk next year.

The food manufacturer first began consulting on plans to shut the site near North Walsham in October following a decision by the William Jackson Food Group - owner of the Aunt Bessie's Brand - not to renew its licence with the company.

Heinz says, without the contract to manufacture its frozen potato products, there is no longer enough work to keep the factory operating.

A spokesman said attempts to find a buyer for the site had failed.

The factory will continue operating until April 2015, when the Aunt Bessie's licence ends.

Heinz will now focus its efforts on helping workers to find other jobs and will carry on discussing closure plans with unions until at least mid-January.

Over 60 jobs lost as Caterham shuts down its Norfolk business

Caterham has decided to shut down its business in Hingham near Norwich in Norfolk. Credit: Caterham Cars

Caterham has decided to shut down its business in Hingham near Norwich in Norfolk.

The decision to close the Technology and Innovation Centre was made today after it continued to suffer large losses.

The fate of the firm was shared with workers on Wednesday night.

68 jobs have been lost.

“It is with deep regret that I have closed CTI, as I know the 68 personnel there worked tirelessly to try to build the business and win contracts across the globe.

I am sensitive to the fact that we have had to let go of the staff at CTI and I will ensure that they are looked after in the proper manner."

– Graham Macdonald, Caterham Group CEO

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Jobs boost for Clacton as new ASDA store is given the green light

How the new ASDA store could look. Credit: Tendring District Council

Around 300 new jobs are set to be created in Clacton after an application for a new ASDA store was given the green light by the local council.

The company plans to redevelop the existing Co-op store.

It's hoped that it will open in 2016.

“It will be a high quality supermarket on an existing site providing local jobs in the local community – within two to three miles of the site."

– Phil Bartram, ASDA spokesman

Unemployment in the East falls by 2,000 in three months

Unemployment in the East of England fell by 2,000 in the three months to September, official figures have revealed.

Unemployment is falling in the East of England Credit: PA Images

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that a total of 154,000 people were unemployed in the region between July and September.

The region's unemployment rate was 4.9% and saw a fall of 1.3% during the period. The worst area in the UK was the South East which recorded a 9,000 increase in the number of people without a job.

A record number of people are in work after another huge fall in unemployment, new figures have shown.

The jobless total fell by 115,000 in the quarter to September to 1.96 million, the lowest figure since the start of the year.

The number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance was 931,700 in October, 20,400 down on September, and the 24th consecutive monthly cut.

Employment increased by 112,000 in the latest quarter to 30.7 million, the highest since records began in 1971, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported.

The number of non-UK nationals working in this country increased by 230,000 over the past year to 2.9 million, while the figure for UK nationals went up by 445,000 to almost 28 million.

Pay, including bonuses, was 1% higher than a year ago and excluding bonuses went up by 1.3%, the first time the figure was above CPI inflation for five years.

The 1% average earnings figure is 0.3% higher than last month.

Around 14.7% of workers, or 4.5 million, are self-employed, down by 88,000 on the quarter but up by 279,000 on a year ago, while the number of part-time workers wanting a full-time job remained at around 1.3 million.

There were just over nine million people classed as economically inactive, including students, long-term sick or those who have given up looking for work, 38,000 more than between April and June.

The number of people claiming the main unemployment benefit - jobseeker's allowance - has also been falling every month for the last two years and is now more than half a million lower than May 2010.

  1. Kate Prout

Bonfires going ahead despite firefighter strike

Bonfires and firework displays are being held this weekend despite claims that a four day strike by firefighters is leaving many people 'vulnerable'.

Firefighters across the country have walked out from 6pm on Friday until 6pm on Tuesday in a dispute about pensions.

The Fire Brigade Union says government proposals that firefighters should work until they are 60 instead of 55, pay more into their pensions and get less in retirement, are unfair.

But the Fire Service says contingency plans are in place and there is adequate cover.

Firefighters set to strike for four days over fireworks weekend

Exactly 24 hours from now, firefighters across the East will walk out on strike in a row over pensions.

With Bonfire night just days away and Halloween tomorrow, the strike is falling on one of the busiest weekends of the year for the service.

Fire chiefs are advising the public to remain vigilant.

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Heinz factory campaigners call for more time

The Heinz factory at Westwick Credit: ITV Anglia

Campaigners want Heinz to extend its consultation period over closing its food factory in Norfolk.

They fear the present 45-day limit could result in bad news for workers just before Christmas.

A petition calling for a rethink has reached 600 signatures. The factory at Westwick near North Walsham makes frozen potato products and faces closure as a contract with Aunt Bessie's ends.

Campaign to save factory continues

The Heinz factory at Westwick Credit: ITV Anglia

Campaigner will be out on the streets again today fighting for support to save a Norfolk food factory.

A petition calling for Heinz to rethink plans to close its factory at Westwick near North Walsham has reached three hundred signatures.

The “Jobs Means Heinz” petition, which launched on Wednesday, calls for opponents to the proposed closure to voice their concerns about the loss of two hundred jobs.

Campaigners have been collecting signatures online and in North Walsham market place.

Campaigners have called for the company to extend a forty-five day consultation period in order to explore more options to prevent the closure.

The factory, which makes frozen potato products, is faced with closure as a contract with Aunt Bessie’s is nearing an end. Campaigners are worried that the decision could also affect local potato farmers.

The loss of the factory will be devastating for the families of the two hundred people they currently employ, especially so close to Christmas”.

– North Norfolk Labour candidate Denise Burke

Campaigners launch petition to save Norfolk Heinz factory

The factory at Westwick near North Walsham. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Campaigners in Norfolk have started a petition, calling for Heinz to rethink plans to close one of its factories.

Two hundred jobs are under threat at the Westwick site near North Walsham, which makes frozen potato products.

Heinz is yet to make a final decision about the factory's future, and those behind the petition hope they can persuade the company to explore all options.