161 jobs at risk as tissue plant closes

More than 160 jobs are at risk as part of plans to close SCA’s tissue processing plant in Sheffield.

Swedish paper group SCA, which bought the former paper mill at Oughtibridge in 2012, said yesterday it was consulting on proposals to close the plant in 2015, transferring remaining operations to another facility in Skelmersdale in Lancashire. Its logistics operation would move to Ashton-in-Makerfield, near Wigan.

It puts 161 jobs at risk and the hygiene products firm, which owns brands including Bodyform, Velvet, Cushelle and Plenty, is running a minimum 45-day consultation with employees.

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Since the former paper mill shut in 2007, the site has been used to convert rolls of paper made elsewhere into commercial toilet rolls, paper hand towels, wiper rolls and medical rolls.

Tony Richards, product supply director for SCA, said: “To remain a long-term sustainable employer in the UK our converting operations at Oughtibridge and Skelmersdale have to be consolidated into one site and expansion of the Oughtibridge site is not economically viable, due to its age, infrastructure and manufacturing limitations.

“Making proposals that could affect people’s livelihoods is always a very difficult decision for any company and we would not be doing so now without being confident that we had explored all potential strategies for the future of the business. We are consulting fully with our employees about our proposals for the closure of Oughtibridge phased over a period until early 2015.”