We deliver petition to Britvic and Unilever headquarters to try and save Norwich factories
PUBLISHED: 07:04 25 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:47 25 October 2017
As thousands back our campaign to save Norwich's Britvic and Unilever factories, we travelled to the headquarters of both companies to make your views heard.
Armed with a petition - signed by more than 11,000 people - and hundreds of campaign coupons, we visited the UK offices of Britvic and Unilever on the outskirts of London.
Our aim was to ensure the chief executives of both companies were made aware of the huge support there was within the city to keep both factories open.
But despite travelling hundreds of miles to Hemel Hempstead and then Leatherhead on Tuesday to deliver the petition, no senior staff were able to meet us.
Instead, we had to hand it over to their respective press officers.
David Powles, editor-in-chief of the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News, said: “It is a shame that no senior executives from Britvic or Unilever could meet our reporters to receive the petition which thousands of people have taken the time to sign.
“There is a huge amount of support within the city and across the county to keep both factories open. Not only are they an important part of Norfolk’s heritage, they also employ hundreds of people.
“We can only hope that those who will ultimately decide the future of both sites will read through some of the comments left on the petition to understand how much of an impact these closures will have on the city.”
The press officers from Britvic and Unilever said the petition coupons, which were signed and returned by readers, would be looked at.
More than 240 people are at risk of losing their jobs after Britvic announced earlier this month that it was proposing to close its Bracondale site.
The production of Robinsons and Fruit Shoot, which currently takes place at the plant, will be transferred to other manufacturing sites in London, Leeds and Rugby.
Hours after Britvic’s announcement, Unilever, which makes Colman’s Mustard, said it too could close its neighbouring site.
Unilever said it would be speaking to its 113 employees at the site, and was aiming to have reached a decision by the end of November.
To sign our petition, visit www.change.org and search “Britvic and Unilever”.