Sofina Foods has announced plans to close its whitefish processing site in the UK town of Grimsby.

The company is proposing the closure due to changes in demand for products processed at the plant. Sofina said continuing production at the site “would no longer be financially sustainable”.

The consultation process has started, Canada-based Sofina said in a statement.

If the plant is closed, it would affect 285 jobs, although Sofina is looking to create positions elsewhere.

Sofina has two plants in Grimsby, with the Marsden Road site being the one under threat. Both manufacture the chilled and frozen fish brand, Young’s.

Under the plans, some of the whitefish production will be moved to the other Grimsby factory on Humberstone Road. Processing of smoked fish will be undertaken in the Fraserburgh plant in Scotland with new roles created in both sites. The company “will do all it can to offer alternative opportunities across the group” to the employees affected, said Sofina.

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“Following changes in future demands for products produced at our Marsden Road site, the company has explored a number of options to try and maintain production at the site from October 2023,” Sofina said in a statement.

“As a result of these proposed changes, Sofina Foods Europe is sadly proposing to cease production at the Marsden Road site in Grimsby from October 2023. We have taken this decision as producing the remaining whitefish contracts at Marsden Road would no longer be financially sustainable.

“If the proposals go ahead, we will work hard to maintain the employment of all colleagues throughout this transition.”

Sofina owns pork and seafood brands such as Karro, Bloors, Stirchley Bacon, Young’s and Young’s Gastro

The company operates 16 plants and three hatcheries across Canada and 23 sites across the UK, Ireland, Germany and France.