Boost as Jus-Rol site sold to firm
The announcement of the sale to a national bakery group of Berwick's Jus-Rol factory, which closed with the loss of 265 jobs, has been welcomed.
Country Style Foods is a craft bakery company, with sites across the UK. It supplies the in-store bakeries of leading grocery retailers as well as other food customers.
General Mills, the owners of Jus-Rol, and Country Style Foods expect to complete the deal before the end of the year.
Following a consultation on proposals to close the site, launched in October 2015, it was confirmed in January this year that the factory would close and production ceased on September 22.
A Jus-Rol spokesman said: “We believe that this will provide the best possible outcome for the facility and the local community.”
Joe Wood, managing director of Country Style Foods, added: “We’re delighted to be expanding our operations to Berwick and building upon the site’s heritage to supply high-quality bakery products.”
Cllr Isabel Hunter, ward member for Berwick West with Ord, described it as a good news story which ‘will give Berwick and the surrounding area a lift’.
She added: “To begin with, Country Style Foods may not secure the level of employment which General Mills had, but hopefully they will continue to grow in Berwick, just like they have done in other areas of England.
“I welcome Country Style Foods to Berwick, I wish them well for the future and hope they will be as successful as Jus-Rol and will still be on site in 60-plus years.”
Cllr Gavin Jones, for Berwick North, said: “While the loss of Jus-Rol has been a great blow to our community, the sale of the site is excellent news. This sale demonstrates confidence in the site and in Berwick as a place to do business.
“We are hoping that the new owners will provide local employment opportunities, both on-site and through local suppliers.”
Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan said she was delighted that the tradition of manufacturing baking products and employment will continue at the site, while the county council’s business chairman, Scott Dickinson, described it as ‘great news for Berwick’ and a ‘boost for the jobs market’.