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Shareholders get their say on Co-op warehouse move

The potential loss of 81 jobs across a Channel Island supermarket chain will be discussed at a special general meeting tonight.

Co-op shareholders in Jersey are meeting at the Raddison to hear more from bosses about the closure of warehouses in both the islands.

The board will have to explain the proposed warehouse closures and members will be asked whether they want the warehouses operations outsourced to the UK.

The final vote is whether the members have no confidence in the Board of Directors.

"I would like to thank the Society for their professionalism in this matter and we look forward to having the chance to put our concerns forward."

– Jasen Cronin, Channel Islands Co-operative Society member

"We welcome the passion and concern from a group of our members that has triggered this special meeting. It is a sign of strength that a member owned business can have this type of debate."

– Ben Shenton, President for the Society

Guernsey's meeting will take place tomorrow night at Beau Sejour....

Members who wish to attend are being reminded to check their details are up to date, as they'll be asked for their name, share number and address.

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Co-op warehouse moving

81 jobs are under threat across the Channel Islands as the Co-op is moving its warehousing to Andover.

The changes mean 58 workers at the Jersey food warehouse and head office and 23 workers at the Guernsey food warehouse are ‘at risk’ of redundancy.

The Society says the move could be completed by next summer, with the Guernsey warehouse closing first.

The Co-op also says there are no anticipated disruptions to the supply of products into its stores.

This has been an extremely difficult decision, especially when it potentially affects our colleagues but once Andover’s modern Co-operative facility opened last year, we were duty bound to review our supply chain. It became very clear that there would be significant opportunities to focus on better fresh food availability, increased product shelf-life and a larger range of goods for our members and customers

– Colin Macleod, Chief Executive

81 jobs 'at risk' as Co-op closes all warehouses

Concerns for historic buildings

There are concerns two historic St Helier buildings will be lost if plans for a new redevelopment at Charing Cross are approved.

It comes as the Co-op announce revised plans to develop its properties in Charing Cross, St Helier.

The designs include building a Premier Inn hotel, pedestrianising part of the site and donating three buildings to the National Trust for Jersey.

The tourist trade says it is welcoming the plans, and Premier Inn has told us it has been looking to invest in Jersey for some time.

But while the plans would see four out of six historic buildings in the area kept, campaigners say all of them need to be protected.

John Bates, Head of Acquisitions (Provinces) for Premier Inn, said: "We have been looking for the right opportunity to invest in Jersey and the right partner for some time.

"It's a location where we want to open and to bring the benefits of Premier Inn investment, choice and year-round jobs.

"We are delighted to be working in partnership with The Channel Islands Co-operative Society and look forward to taking this exciting opportunity through the planning process and, all being well, into construction as soon as possible."

The National Trust feel they need more information before they can accept the gifted properties.

Chief Executive of the Co-op in Jersey, Colin Macleod, said: "We are retaining the four most important heritage buildings with this new set of plans, and we have gifted the three most significant of those to the national trust assuming we get permission."

If approved, Pitt Street will also be pedestrianised. It is hoped this will enhance the area and improve the look of this part of the town centre.

The designs also include plans for a new 91 room Premier Inn hotel to be built. The current food store will also be improved as part of the development.

Around 300 people are expected to be employed to work on the project with more workers needed for the improved food store and new hotel.

Mr Macleod added: "This new plan represents a substantial investment in the heart of St Helier, which balances a commitment to preserving the heritage of the town, creating employment and regeneration for the area, bringing opportunities for both islanders and visitors. If approved, this project is fully funded and can be implemented immediately to have a speedy and meaningful impact on the islands economy."