John Dickinson may close Sawston plant



More than 200 jobs could be affected if John Dickinson goes ahead with a proposal to close its Sawston manufacturing plant.
The company is considering a proposal to close the plant and transfer manufacturing to other sites owned or operated by Dickinson or its parent company Groupe Hamelin.
 Stéphane Hamelin, Groupe Hamelin’s president, told OPI: "We knew that we would have to strongly reorganise the manufacturing due to low efficiency in Sawston, but I thought that we wouldn’t have had to consider closing the Sawston factory.
"I can tell you that we studied with Philip Beer (John Dickinson UK’s managing director) the possibility to build a brand-new factory on the existing site."
Hamelin added that if Sawston does close all its envelopes, books and pads production, it will transfer to the other factories of Groupe Hamelin in the UK and in continental Europe. "John Dickinson brands are key in our development strategy. Our goal is to develop them in terms of awareness, product innovations and volumes. They bring great margins to our customers, and it is our common interest to grow them."
Beer said: "The potential loss of the loyal workforce at Sawston is not a proposal we are taking lightly. The pressure on UK manufacture means that we need to consider difficult options in order to offer the correct product mix and right level of support and service to our customers for the future."
The manufacturer is currently in a consultation process with its employees that will determine the outcome of the proposal.