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Heart-felt letter describes how 'soul' of Norwich's under-threat Britvic factory has been 'ripped out'

Chloe Smith outside the Britvic and Unilever factory site. Photo: Chloe Smith

Chloe Smith outside the Britvic and Unilever factory site. Photo: Chloe Smith

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A heart-felt letter has described how the soul of Norwich's under-threat Britvic factory has been "ripped out".

The letter, which appears to have come from a factory worker, was sent to the trade union GMB.

It said the past few weeks had been difficult for staff as they waited to hear the future of the Bracondale site.

Britvic announced earlier in October that it was proposing to close its factory in Norwich, which produces Robinsons squash and Fruit Shoot.

Should it go ahead, more than 240 people could lose their jobs.

The letter said: “The last few weeks have been very hard here in Norwich. The soul has been ripped from what is [one of] Britvic’s best factories.

“The site at Norwich has seen many changes over the years, from people to equipment.

“But the people at Norwich have always done what they have been asked to do, to adapt to demand.

“Over many years’ service, many of us have made sacrifices to deliver projects and orders on time.

“The site here at Norwich will never be the same again, but that’s understandable considering the life-changing impact this news has had, and will have, on all that are affected.”

Britvic has repeatedly stressed that no decision has been made in regard to its factory’s closure, and that it was still under consultation with employees.

Unilever has since announced that its plant, which produces Colman’s Mustard on the Bracondale site, could also shut - putting 113 jobs at risk.

MP Chloe Smith met with factory staff on Friday to hear their concerns.

The Norwich North Conservative MP said: “I am in close touch with senior management of both Britvic and Unilever, as well as working behind the scenes in Westminster, to try to make sure all possible options are available, should these companies decide to move on.

“It would be a great shame if the companies did decide to move on and I don’t want to see the loss of jobs.

“First and foremost, it is down to the two companies to make their decision, but I hope they hear the strength of feeling that’s been shown about these firms staying in Norwich.”

To sign our petition to save the two factories, visit www.change.org and search “Britvic and Unilever”.

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