Workers have finished their last shift at the Alcan aluminium smelter in Northumberland, leaving more than 300 people redundant.
Employees came out of the plant with their belongings in bin liners and headed into HR to receive their final termination form.
It officially brings to an end 40 years of smelting in Northumberland.
Around 220 more workers will be phased out over the next few years, as the smelter is decommissioned.
Paul Scott, who has worked at the Lynemouth site for more than 12 years, said: "It's a major disaster for the area. I can't see how people are going to adjust to this."
Another worker said: "It's devastating. It's the end of an era."
Of the 290 who are out of work from today, 150 have no work.
Rio Tinto said that a firm in the Middle East has said that it would give as many as 130 jobs to Alcan workers, if they pass interview tests.
Outside the plant, some workers expressed an interest in the offer.
But the GMB Union was sceptical that workers could or would uproot to Qatar.