More than 50 jobs at risk with closure of Clarks distribution centre in Kendal

Credit: PA Images

The shoe company Clarks has confirmed plans that it will close a distribution centre in Kendal.

Tim Farron, the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, said the news felt "something like a betrayal" to the town.

  • What was your initial reaction to the closure?

  • What has the distribution centre meant to Kendal over the years?

  • What support is available for people who have lost their jobs?

Operations are set to move to the firm's distribution centres at Street in Somerset and Venlo in the Netherlands by the end of the year.

A spokesperson at Clarks said: "Kendal has been, and always will be of great importance to Clarks, having played a significant role in our history. 

"Following a meaningful consultation with Community the Union, we have taken the difficult to decision to close our distribution centre in Kendal.

"We have a strong duty of care to our employees and will ensure they are fully supported during this time.  

"Clarks is committed to leaving a positive legacy in Kendal and will encourage the site to be used to create opportunities which will benefit the area.”

The move would end a long association with Kendal going back to the 19th century through K Shoes, which was later taken over by then C&J Clark in 1981.

Shoe manufacturing at the former K Shoes site stopped in 2003 but Clarks maintained a presence in the town with the distribution centre.

At the end of the financial year 2019/20, the group had around 10,000 employees worldwide, of which about 7,000 were in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

In May, Clarks announced almost 1,000 redundancies across the global business over the coming 18 months, as part of its latest strategy, 'Made to Last.'