11 January 2000
ABP closes Northants lamb plant

By Donald MacPhail

ONE of Britains biggest meat processors has closed a major factory because it has decided that sheepmeat is no longer part of its core business.

Anglo Beef Processors confirmed the closure of its Northampton abattoir at Wellingborough which has recently been slaughtering 10,000 lambs each week.

Around half of the production at the plant was for export and the company has made about 60 people who worked at Wellingborough redundant.

“We are sad to see the plant close as it was one of ABPs first in the country,” said an ABP spokesman.

“But Wellingborough was a dedicated lamb plant, and lamb is no longer part of the core operations for ABP.”

ABP claims to have invested about 30 million over the past three or four years in its beef processing operations.

Despite the closure at Wellingborough, it insisted that its other lamb plants are safe at Bathgate, West Lothian; and Lurgan, Armagh in Northern Ireland.

The Bathgate operation has a similar throughput to Wellingborough, although the Ulster plant is somewhat smaller are said to be “operating normally”.

ABP, which last year had a turnover of 400m, has four abattoirs in England and two each in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

It also has frozen food and packing units and said it would be prepared to sell the Wellingborough plant as a going concern.