A Walkers factory in Peterlee County Durham is set to close, which could put 380 jobs at risk.

The proposed changes have been taken to provide significant productivity and efficiency savings and ensure the long-term sustainable growth of the business in the UK, according to Tracey Foster, Peterlee manufacturing director at PepsiCo UK.

“In order to improve the efficiency of our UK snacks manufacturing operations, we are proposing the closure of our factory at Peterlee,” she said.

“Crisps currently produced at the site would be manufactured at our other facilities in the UK.”

The manufacturer will now begin consultations with staff and its representatives, but has reassured that employees will receive full support.

“No decisions will be made without first consulting employees and their representatives. We would also like to reassure colleagues that we will be providing ongoing support and assistance from this point onwards,” Foster said.

“We appreciate this is upsetting news for everyone at the Peterlee site. It is a difficult proposal for us to put forward and we want to make clear that it in no way reflects the performance of our colleagues at Peterlee, to whom we are grateful for their hard work and commitment.”