MPS mulls Nottingham site closure

Richard Stuart-Turner
Thursday, December 12, 2019

Multi Packaging Solutions (MPS) is considering closing its manufacturing facility in Nuthall, putting up to 139 jobs at risk.

Multi Packaging Solutions was acquired by WestRock in 2017
Multi Packaging Solutions was acquired by WestRock in 2017

Nottinghamshire Live reported that employees working at the site were told on Monday (9 December) that the company had entered “a formal consultation process” to consider ending production at the site.

A spokesman for WestRock, which acquired MPS in 2017, confirmed to Printweek that “the proposal covers all 139 production personnel who are based at the site”.

“WestRock has put forward a proposal to close its manufacturing facility in Nottingham and transfer production to other facilities. The decision reflects WestRock’s commitment to balancing its production needs with its manufacturing footprint.

“It was a difficult decision and in no way reflects the dedication, performance or commitment of the Nottingham team to WestRock or its customers. The company has now entered a 45-day consultation period with employees and their representatives.”

Nottinghamshire Live said a statement given to staff by Jon Drennan, the vice-president of GB & CE Cartons at MPS, said the site had been dominated by two major customers which made up 90% of its sales and production.

One of these customers is said to be slowly moving custom away from the facility to eastern Europe, leaving the company “with no option” but to consider the closure of the Nuthall site.

Drennan’s statement added: “The current situation is a direct result of market forces beyond our control and pressure to move work to lower cost facilities. Unfortunately it is potentially difficult for the Nottingham site to remain viable once over 50% of the volume is removed.”

He said that if the proposal is undertaken, it will be phased over the next four to six months.

The company is encouraging affected staff to take up opportunities at other MPS sites across the UK, including Swadlincote and Leicester.

The WestRock spokesman told Printweek: “A full assessment has yet to be undertaken pending the outcome of the consultation process and our staffing needs vary, but we are confident there will be opportunities at other WestRock locations.”

While he added WestRock “does not disclose financial information at a facility level”, according to its latest accounts filed on Companies House, MPS recorded a pre-tax loss of £625,000 for the year ending 30 September 2018.

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