UK News: Faccenda lays off 450 (no pun intended)

Soaring wheat and fuel costs have been blamed for the decision to close a UK chicken processing plant with the loss of 450 jobs.

Faccenda Group announced the factory in Wiltshire, in the south west of England, could shut in September as part of restructuring plans.

The company, the UK’s second largest chicken processing outfit, said it will invest £5 million at three other sites instead.

A Faccenda statement said the market for processing and supplying chicken had become increasingly challenging and it had to cut costs to remain competitive.

Managing director Ian Faccenda was quoted as saying: "We're operating in a very competitive market, where the cost of wheat and fuels has increased enormously in the past year. We have to make changes for the long-term health of our business.

"We recognise the high level of commitment and hard work shown by our staff at Sutton Benger, many of whom have been with us for a long time and we will do all we can to support them.

"While this has been a difficult decision for us to take, by restructuring now, we're strengthening the business for the future."