A North East development agency says it fears for the future of a Northumberland town after yesterday's Rio TInto Alcan redundancies.
Workers have finished their last shift at the Alcan aluminium smelter in Northumberland, leaving more than 300 people redundant.
The last shift ends for nearly 300 workers at Alcan after 40 years of smelting at Lynemouth, Northumberland.
Workers sign off with HR and head out of the gates.
Half of the workers at the Alcan aluminium smelter in Northumberland working their last shifts today as the plant prepares to shut down after 40 years of operating.
Owner Rio Tinto announced plans to close the plant near Lynemouth last November.
Northumberland's long history of aluminium smelting has come to an end with the closure of the Alcan smelter at Lynemouth.
More than 500 people will lose their jobs by the end of the year, in what the GMB Union described as a "catastrophic" day for the region.
The smelter at Rio Tinto Alcan in Northumberland will be closed within the next hour.
Alcan worker, Paul Scott, says "it's the end of hot aluminium smelting in England".
The Alcan smelter near Ashington already has marginal profits, but a carbon tax due in 2013 would make it lose money. Rio Tinto estimates the tax would cost tens of millions of pounds by 2016, and with only a slight profit, it no longer wants to keep the plant open.
The smelter has been shutdown and the process now begins to decommission the main site. The company also has contracts it has to honour with customers, so it will continue to cast aluminium from used metal in the short-term.
However, aluminium that has been made from scratch will end not only inNorthumberland, but in England too. By the end of May, 323 of the workers will be out of work. Another 60 will continue casting, but that ends by 2013.
From newsagents to distribution, the knock-on effect in the supply chain could be in the thousands, with the GMB estimating that the whole operation brought £60m to the regional economy.