England

Tesco closing distribution centre near Milton Keynes

Plans to close Tesco's Buckinghamshire distribution centre could put hundreds of jobs at risk, a union has warned.

The supermarket is closing its site at Fenny Lock, near Milton Keynes, and transferring the work to a new centre in Daventry, Northamptonshire.

All the existing 764 staff will be offered the chance to work at the new centre, said Tesco.

But union Usdaw described the announcement as "devastating" for those involved.

The company said the new site at Daventry was 60% bigger than the one being closed.

'Chasing vacancies'

Juliette Bishop, Tesco's corporate affairs manager, said: "The site at Fenny Lock is now over 20 years old and can no longer provide the space needed to hold the range and volume of products needed to supply our stores for the future.

"This new modern facility will allow us to greatly enhance the service to our stores and customers across the country.

"This site also offers on-site rail freight facilities which can handle up to 12 trains every day helping us to further reduce freight travelling by road."

Joanne McGuiness, national officer of Usdaw, said it was "absolutely devastating news for our members, their families and for the economy of Milton Keynes".

"There are entire families affected by this decision and with five people already chasing every vacancy in the town, it really couldn't have come at a worse time," she said.

"Consultations with Tesco will start this week and we will be examining their business case in detail.

"Our number one priority will be to save jobs and we'll be trying to secure as many opportunities as possible at the new depot in Daventry and at other Tesco sites in the area."

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