Company's u-turn on mill closure spares village jobs
OPERATORS of a Mid Devon mill have made a u-turn on closure plans which would have resulted in redundancies.
AB Agri, a FTSE 100 company which took over the Uffculme operation in 2011, announced plans last year to take production to Kingsmill Industrial Estate in Cullompton.
The company hoped to close the mill and move by this spring but now it has decided that a number of manufacturing processes will remain in the village.
A spokesman for the company, which acquired the Bridge Street mill from the 2 Sisters Food Group for an undisclosed sum, said: "We are now planning to maintain some manufacturing operation at Uffculme and can confirm there have been no redundancies to date. No activities have moved to Cullompton at this stage."
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Cllr Diane Brandon said the company had kept the parish council informed of its decisions and it expected to continue with limited production for its organic and free-range streams.
The main pelleting productions would transfer to Cullompton by September and more details would be given when the revised consultation process with staff had been concluded.
Closure of the site would have resulted in around 14 redundancies but the impact on staff of the latest plan is unknown
Cllr Brandon said: "As far as we know, nobody from Uffculme was in danger of losing their jobs."
By transferring some production to Cullompton, lorry movements in the village are expected to be cut by two-thirds.
A spokesperson for Devon County Council said 150 heavy goods vehicles use the B3440 between Willand and Uffculme each day, which equates to around 3.5 per cent of all the traffic using the road.