Household cleaning products firm McBride has confirmed its Barrow factory will shut down in the summer at a cost of 106 jobs

in-Cumbria exclusively revealed in December that bosses at the company were proposing to close down the site but were exploring ‘alternative scenarios’ with the Barrow-based management team.

However, in its half year results McBride confirmed it will ‘cease operations’ at the Park Road site in the summer – but did not provide a specific date.

It said staff consultations had now been completed and that all of its 106 workers at the site were receiving support to find other jobs.

And in another bitter blow, the company said that work currently being carried out at the Barrow site would move to its other laundry powder production factories at Moyaux in France and Foetz in Luxembourg.

McBride has blamed Barrow factory closure on a fall in demand for the laundry powders, with the detergent market shifting toward liquid – forcing the company to examine its manufacturing footprint and ‘realign this in order to remain competitive’.

In a statement McBride said: “We are currently working with all colleagues at Barrow on an individual basis to provide the necessary outplacement support utilising a range of external providers. 

“This consists of CV preparation, help with interview techniques and career support. 

“In addition, a full job shop has been created on site where we will actively publicise local vacancies and provide the tools for colleagues to make the necessary applications.” 

Following on from last year’s announcement Barrow Borough Council vowed to work with organisations including Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership ‘to identify what steps it can take to assist workers in the future’.

The closure of the site, which had suffered clutches of jobs losses in recent years as McBride battles tough trading conditions, was met with shock by local business leaders and politicians.

The chief executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, Rob Johnston, has suggested rising costs fuelled by Brexit uncertainty was a factor in McBride’s decision to leave Barrow.

And while in-Cumbria understands Brexit was not, directly, part of the reasoning behind the decision, the reallocation of work to France and Luxembourg – both long-standing European Union members – will raise eyebrows.

In its trading update for the six months ending December 31, McBride revealed a review of its strategy, organisation and operations was underway, the results of which would be published alongside its full year results in September.

Its group wide revenues fell by 5.1 per cent to £350.4m compared to £369.2m for the same period in 2018.

Operating profit fell 45.5 per cent from £15.6m to £8.5m, while pre-tax profits dropped 50.4 per cent from £13.3m to £6.6m.

McBride warned in January that is was bracing itself for another hefty blow to its profits due to ‘weaker’ demand for its private label products.