April 21, 2016
Mayor's 'deep concern' over job loss fears at Highbridge firm Brakes

Burnham and Highbridge's Mayor has this week expressed his "deep concern" over fears that jobs could be lost if a leading town business shuts its warehouse and moves out of the town. first reported last week that Brakes Group has recently acquired a new depot in Portbury, which it says may affect its existing three warehouse sites at Highbridge, Bristol and Yate.

Staff at the Brakes food depot on Highbridge's Isleport Industrial Estate are worried that the Portbury move will lead to job losses.

Burnham and Highbridge Mayor Cllr Michael Clarke told "I am deeply concerned by this potential move of one of our largest employers in Highbridge."

"I am watching the situation closely. It is very worrying for all concerned - we wouldn't want any jobs to be lost from this important local employer."

Brakes spokeswoman Honoria Simpson told "How this site will operate within the current UK network is subject to further planning. A collective consultation period has begun with colleagues at three depots within the region."

"Although the company will consider all possible alternatives, one potential impact is that the three depots will be closed and the need to make redundancies could therefore arise."

"The company is committed to avoiding redundancies where possible, reducing the number of employees affected and mitigating the consequences of any closure."

"The full scope of how these sites will be affected is not yet confirmed. Once business decisions are formally approved for a site, specific consultation at that location will begin."

"Brakes is committed to supporting its colleagues during this process; it is not anticipated that customers will be affected."

Brakes will occupy a 250,763 sq ft former Asda cold store at Portbury. It has already agreed a deal for a 30-year lease of the site.

The warehouse comprises a purpose-built cold store facility, which was built in the early 1990s. It is located on a 17-acre site adjacent to junction 19 of the M5 motorway and was last occupied by Asda in September 2013.


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