STAFF and residents have learned today, Wednesday, August 28, that Tesco’s distribution centre at Barlborough - which was due to close in September - is now expected to stay open.
The centre on Gander Lane was expected to close with the potential loss of about 400 jobs after Tesco announced the restructuring of its distribution system across the UK with centre closures and a transfer option to take jobs at Reading and Dagenham sites.
Troubled staff have spent the last six months since the original closure announcement in February considering or even taking up redundancy offers and pursuing alternate work.
But Tesco announced at just after 2pm, today, that it is now briefing remaining staff at Barlborough that following a review its non-food business it has found a way to keep the centre open by changing the centre’s use from grocery to general merchandise and non-food products.
A Tesco spokesman said: “We looked at the size of the centre and its location and how it is equipped and realised Chesterfield is the best place for this kind of operation.
“Everyone who is still based at the centre will still have a job with existing terms and conditions if they choose to stay so everyone wanting to stay will be able to stay.”
Tesco confirmed there are 210 employees still working at the Barlborough site, 90 others have chosen to leave early and another 40 have moved within the business already.
The company is holding consultations with all staff so they can fully consider all their options and it is also urging any employees who have left but wish to comeback to get in touch so they too can consider possible choices.
Tesco originally said it was bringing in closures to hold its slower moving grocery products in one depot and claimed this would improve frequencies, reduce road miles and carbon emissions.
Following the announcement that Barlborough will now stay open with a required workforce of about 200, a smaller distribution centre at Daventry is to be closed with options for these staff to move to other sites in Daventry.
Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins said: “In July, alongside three other local MPs, I wrote to Tesco to highlight the huge impact their presence – or absence – has on the lives of real people living in our fragile economy. I am delighted that they seem to have taken this on board and have decided to keep our local distribution centre open. I know the hard workers of Chesterfield will ensure the centre thrives and plays a key part in the continued success of this Great British brand.”