News - North West

SCA plans Lancashire transfer

Hygiene product manufacturer SCA has revealed plans to transfer some of its operations to Lancashire and Greater Manchester by closing its base in Oughtibridge, near Sheffield. The decision has placed 161 jobs at risk.

The company, which is behind brands including Velvet and Bodyform, bought the site in 2012 as part of a wider acquisition of Georgia Pacific's European tissue operations and has since carried out a review of its UK business.

The site was formerly a paper mill until this closed in 2007. Since then it has been operating converting lines to convert rolls of paper made elsewhere into commercial toilet rolls, paper hand towels, wiper rolls and medical rolls.

SCA has now decided that the site should be closed in early 2015 and some of the converting lines relocated to another SCA facility at Skelmersdale, with the logistics operation moving to Ashton-in-Makerfield, near Wigan.

SCA has commenced a period of consultation with employees on the future of its site in South Yorkshire.

Product supply director Tony Richards said: "To remain a long-term sustainable employer in the UK our converting operations at Oughtibridge and Skelmersdale have to be consolidated into one site and expansion of the Oughtibridge site is not economically viable, due to its age, infrastructure and manufacturing limitations.

"Making proposals that could affect people's livelihoods is always a very difficult decision for any company and we would not be doing so now without being confident that we had explored all potential strategies for the future of the business.

"We are consulting fully with our employees about our proposals for the closure of Oughtibridge phased over a period until early 2015. Part of the consultation process will explore potential opportunities in other SCA sites and outline outplacement support available."

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