COUNCIL bosses have had talks with cleaning products manufacturer McBride’s in a bid to persuade the company to keep jobs in Burnley.
As many as 350 jobs will go if the firm holds to its current intention to leave town.
McBride’s, which operates from premises in Windermere Avenue, says it needs to consolidate its order books, and intends to transfer work from Burnley to one or more of its other four factories in the north of England.
Burnley Council leader Charlie Briggs and chief executive Steve Rumbelow met senior representatives from McBride’s to discuss the firm’s formal 90-day consultation and the planned changes which are expected to lead to closure of the plant. If the council cannot persuade McBride’s to have a change of heart it will concentrate its efforts on a support package for workers, offering advice on improving their chances in the jobs market.
Coun. Briggs said: “I very much appreciate the time McBride’s spent taking us through the business challenges the company is facing and the strategic review they have recently concluded.” He said the council regarded McBride’s as a responsible firm with a sound workforce.
“McBride’s are a company we value in Burnley – they are a good, responsible employer and have a committed and productive workforce,” he said.
“We have agreed to maintain a dialogue in the early part of the consultation process, both to see if there is any option which retains jobs in Burnley and if that can’t be achieved, to help with a support package for workers.”
The company’s director of human resources, Malcolm Allan, said: “We had a very constructive meeting with the council and have agreed to hold further discussions over the coming weeks.”
The factory in Burnley specialises in making cleaning products with trigger sprays, products regarded as being key to the company’s growth. Difficulties arise because there is nowhere it could expand on its current site, whereas McBride’s factories in Middleton, Bradford and Hull, none of which are running at full capacity, have plenty of space on which to expand.