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Shoe store Brantano goes into administration

Credit: Brantano

More jobs could be at risk after footware store Brantano announced it's to go into administration.

There are eight stores across the North East employing 85 people.

The administrators say Brantano has been hit hard by the change in consumers' shopping habits and the changing retail environment.

The company is a value shoe retailer operating 140 stores and 60 concessions across the UK and employs around 2,000 staff.

Pricewaterhousecoopers (PWC) have been appointed as joint administrators of Brantano Limited.

The administrators are continuing to trade the businesses as normal whilst we assess the trading strategy over the coming days and weeks. Staff will be paid their arrears of wages and salaries, and will continue to be paid for their work during the Administration.”

– PWC

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Berwick MP 'devastated' for General Mills factory workers

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, MP for Berwick, has said she is devastated that the General Mills factory will close in the town.

She has previously written to the Prime Minister asking for his support for workers at the site.

I am devastated for the workers to learn from General Mills that they have decided to close their profitable factory in Berwick-upon-Tweed in the autumn, despite over 50 years of production of Jus-Rol products on the site by its hugely talented workforce.

I will continue to work with the local taskforce to do all I can to link interested buyers with General Mills to find an alternative future for the site, and hopefully many of its dedicated staff.”

– Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP

Council say taskforce will help those losing jobs at Berwick factory

Northumberland County Council say a taskforce will help those set to lose their jobs when General Mills close their factory in Berwick.

265 jobs are expected to go when the facility closes in the autumn.

A taskforce was set up when General Mills announced their plans to close the site in October. It involves iNorthumberland County Council, the local MP, Berwick Town Council, Northumberland’s development company Arch, Jobcentre Plus, the North East Chamber of Commerce, The Confederation of British Industry, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and UK Trade and Investment.

The council said taskforce members will be offering individual support for all employees including help on finding new work, CV and interview skills, advice on benefits and help with future training.

Companies in General Mills supply chain network will also be approached to see what support they may need.

Councillor Allan Hepple, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth with Northumberland County Council and chair of the taskforce, said:

This is very sad news for the county, and particularly for the staff who work in the factory, which has been a big employer in the town for many years.

We know this closure has affected some entire families who work at the factory and the taskforce will do absolutely everything it can to provide short, medium and long term support both to those directly affected, the town of Berwick and the wider economy.

We will also continue to press the government with the ongoing support from our local MP for any help they can give.”

– Councillor Allan Hepple, Chair of the taskforce

Union say staff at Jus Rol factory are 'devastated'

Staff at General Mills Jus Rol factory in Berwick are devastated by the factory closure confirmation says their union.

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) Area organiser Rab Donnelly said:

Since the initial announcement we have been in extensive consultation meetings with the company, looking at ways to avoid a closure. With great sadness for the workers on the site, their families and the wider community, this proved not to be possible and General Mills have today announced that the closure of the Berwick factory will go ahead.

This has been an extremely difficult process for all concerned and is devastating news for the staff.”

– Rab Donnelly – Usdaw Area Organiser

Berwick Jus Rol factory to close with the loss of 265 jobs

The Jus Rol factory in Berwick will close with the loss of 265 jobs.

Its owners General Mills announced it will close the facility by autumn.

The company had shared a proposal to close the Berwick facility on 29 October 2015 and the final decision has now been confirmed.

General Mills said it will provide severance and transition benefits to all affected employees.

The Berwick facility manufactures baking mixes, and refrigerated and frozen dough products. It has been operated by General Mills since 2001.

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Government failed to notice steel 'warning bells'

National steel protest in Sheffield

The Government was not alert enough to the warning bells sounded by the UK steel industry, says the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Committee in a report published today.

The BIS Committee found that while the Government identified the steel industry as of vital importance, it did not have effective warning systems in place to detect and address mounting problems in the industry.

The Committee also found that a lack of action at EU level, and a failure by UK Governments to push for EU action, helped leave the UK heavily exposed to Chinese dumping, a global oversupply of steel, and a 'perfect storm' of difficulties for the industry.

More than 1,500 steel jobs are under threat in Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire alone.

In recent months, a series of site closures and job losses at sites including in Redcar, Scunthorpe and Lanarkshire, have dealt a major blow to the UK Steel industry. The steel industry is now on the verge of terminal decline. For too long the Government failed to be alert to the alarms raised by the industry and act at home to maintain a steel industry in the UK when other European countries were acting to safeguard their own strategic steel industries.

The industry isn't looking for a hand-out, it's looking for a level-playing field: for too long there was little action from the Government, with some asks from the industry taking years, if at all, to deliver.

The Government have now woken up to the steel crisis and have begun to take action. But this recent activity still needs to translate to concrete results for the industry and the communities they sustain.

– Iain Wright MP, BIS Committee chair
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