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Campaign to stop Britvic and Unilever leaving is backed by City Hall

PUBLISHED: 21:28 28 November 2017 | UPDATED: 22:49 28 November 2017

Colman's Mustard made by Unilever.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Colman's Mustard made by Unilever. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

City councillors have added their support to the campaign to keep the Britvic and Colman’s factories in Norwich, which has seen more than 11,000 sign a petition set up by this newspaper.

Members of Norwich City Council last night unanimously backed a motion for the full council to support the fight to keep the factories local and praised the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News They Must Be Saved campaign and petition.

The city council, along with the county council, MPs and the New Anglia LEP have been trying to convince bosses to stay local after Britvic announced it planned to close its factory at Carrow Works and Unilever, which makes Colman’s Mustard at the same site, announced it was reviewing its own future.

Alan Waters, leader of Labour-controlled Norwich City Council, put forward the motion to members at last night’s meeting.

He said he hoped a solution could be found which would keep the companies on the site.

He said: “We hope these endeavours will result in a continued presence on that Norwich site.

“Britvic and Unilever employ hundreds of people from Norwich and across Norfolk. They are a crucial part of the city and county’s manufacturing base and economy.

Lesley Grahame, Green councillor for Thorpe Hamlet, said the idea of Colman’s leaving Norwich would once have been considered absurd.

She said: “My first thoughts go to the families whose livelihoods are on the line. I’m sure we’d be unanimous in wishing them good news for Christmas.”

Business secretary Greg Clark recently said he would try to persuade Unilver to stay in Norfolk.

And the New Anglia LEP said the company was considering three sites in and around Norwich where ti could continue operating - potentially safeguarding 113 jobs.

Britvic, which is consulting with its 242 Norwich-based employees, has said it wants to transfer production to other UK sites.

The EDP and Evening News petition can be found at www.change.org/p/britvic-and-unilever-keep-britvic-and-unilever-s-norwich-factories-open

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