27 October 1995

Dairies to close

NORTHERN Foods has announced the closure of two dairies with the loss of 322 jobs.

The companys Hull and Middlesborough dairies will close early in 1996 as part of the restructuring of the doorstep milk business announced earlier this year.

It is also selling its Colwyn Bay dairy and six distribution depots in north Wales to Longslow Dairy for £4.5m.

In a further move to rationalise the doorstep business, Northern has reached an agreement with Associated Co-operative Cream-eries. Northern will acquire ACCs doorstep business in the East Midlands and in return will transfer its operations in the north of England to ACC. The differences in the values of the exchange will see Northern pay about £850,000 to ACC.

These moves, combined with other rationalisation earlier in the year, will result in a 40% reduction in Northerns milk bottling capacity. "This is in line with the restructuring plans announced by the group in March 1995. All exceptional costs involved will be covered by the provision made at that time," said an official.