More than 170 jobs could be lost at Warburtons as it consults on plans to close its Pennine Bakery near Oldham.

All 174 employees had been informed as of 20 September, and the family-owned bakery will now enter into a 90-day consultation period.

The firm said it was making changes to its manufacturing and distribution operations and has therefore come to the “difficult decision” to enter into a consultation period on the proposed closure of its bakery in Shaw.

Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams reportedly said that compulsory redundancies could not be ruled out. According to the Manchester Evening News, she had spoken to Warburtons MD Robert Higginson to voice her concerns, and had requested a site visit to meet with management workers and the trade unions involved.

The firm has said the proposal to close the bakery has been made to “enable the business to produce and distribute its products more efficiently, and to maximise its £45 million investment in new state-of-the-art technology, including new plants at Enfield, Bristol and Bolton”.

Higginson added: “The proposed changes are designed to improve our manufacturing and distribution operations which will help us better meet the demands of our customers and consumers across the UK.”

In September last year, Warburtons announced it was proposing to close its Newport bakery in South Wales. The site was then taken over by Brace’s, saving 114 jobs.

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