UK food manufacturer 2 Sisters Food Group is to close its loss-making RF Brookes plant in Leicestershire, with the loss of 229 jobs.

A spokesperson for the company told just-food today (9 October) it could not sustain losses and the facility had lost “a significant amount of business in its previous ownership” by Premier Foods.

2 Sisters acquired the site nine months ago as part of a deal to buy RF Brookes and Avana. In July, however, the company confirmed up to 350 employees could lose their jobs as part of fresh production changes across its network.

In a statement today, 2 Sisters said it has entered into a phased closure of the site “after exploring all viable options”.

As a result, the company will transfer the remaining products from Leicester to its other facilities and close the site during the first quarter of 2013, following a 90 day consultation period with its 229 colleagues. The plant had already seen the phased exit of pie products under previous ownership.

“Today’s decision is not taken lightly but reflects that we can only operate viable sites,” said RF Brookes divisional director Veepul Patel. “Our immediate priority now is to support our colleagues at Leicester through consultation.”

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2 Sisters said it intends to work with JobCentrePlus and other local organisations during the consultation period.

While the Leicester plant was operating “well below capacity”, the spokesperson said its other two sites in South Wales have seen “some good progress” in attracting new business.