A MAJOR employer in Whitchurch has announced proposals to close its town site and move operations to Nantwich.

Ornua Ingredients, based in the Waymills Industrial Estate, currently employs around 90 staff.

The proposal to cease operations at Whitchurch was announced to staff on Monday by senior management.

Ornua say anticipate that the majority of the 90 people employed at Whitchurch will transfer to the Nantwich facility adding that the move is being proposed to optimise and streamline production facilities.

The business will commence a statutory consultation period with employees potentially impacted to discuss ways of avoiding the proposed closure; ways to reduce the number of redundancies that will potentially occur as a result; and what other support and assistance can be provided to those potentially affected.

Commenting on the proposed closure, Joan Bombardo, managing director, Ornua Ingredients Europe said; “It is with much regret, that we have announced our proposal to cease operations at our Whitchurch site and transfer the production to our nearby, well-invested Nantwich cheese ingredients facility.

"The proposal follows a major review of our business which concluded that by simplifying and consolidating our production facilities we will be more streamlined, more customer focused and be able to respond more effectively to market opportunities.

"It is important to stress that the proposed closure is not a reflection of the hard work and commitment of those employed at Whitchurch.

"We know that [Monday's] announcement and forth-coming consultation will be unsettling, and we will work hard to keep colleagues informed of the process.”

Meanwhile Shropshire Councillor Peggy Mullock was disappointed with the decision, saying: "I'm very sad to hear [Oruna] are relocating.

"I hope the vast majority of staff retain their employment."