Whitby Seafood announces jobs are under threat

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Forty jobs are under threat at a Scottish factory owned by Whitby Seafoods, with workers to be told within six months if the factory will close.

Whitby Seafoods, which bought the Galloway Seafoods plant in Newton Stewart in February 2014, said it has recently undertaken a “structural review” of its business with the objective of “matching their four manufacturing sites to the specialist skills for the area and history of that site”.

Whitby is considering whether its only Scottish site will continue to coat and pack scampi and other seafood as, at present, it says it is a “duplication of some of the processes in Whitby”.

A statement from the company this week added that it “is possible the products produced at Galloway will be moved to being manufactured in Whitby”.

It said: “Whitby expects this relocation of activities to take place within six months if this decision is made.

“The 40 employees of Galloway have been notified that this possibility is under consideration.”

Whitby Seafoods managing director Daniel Whittle said: “Our mission to wow our customers with fresh tasting carefully prepared seafood is at the heart of this review.

Whitby Seafoods, a leading manufacturer of seafood, markets Whitby Scampi and other Whitby-branded products in retailers and restaurants across the UK including Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda 
and Waitrose.

It bought the Galloway Seafoods site from the Sco-Fro group for an undisclosed sum.

In the deal, Whitby gained the Galloway Seafood customer base, which includes shops and wholesalers. The site produces own-brand scampi.

The deal in 2014 took Whitby’s share of the UK scampi market from 14 to 20 per cent. The statement from the company added: “It has been decided that the head office site at Whitby will remain the company’s centre of excellence for the preparation, coating and packing of scampi, prawns, goujons and battered fillets.

All products with the Whitby brand name will continue to be produced there. The company’s technical, NPD, sales accounts and marketing teams are also based at this site.