Deal cut but future of Welsh plant still cloudy

The future of a Welsh cutting plant in Newport, owned up until April by T H Sutcliffe, is still uncertain.

The future of a Welsh cutting plant in Newport, owned up until April by T H Sutcliffe, is still uncertain, despite a deal done on Friday by Welsh Bros. Butchers Ltd to buy the factory and cutting plant in Newport.

Welsh Bros. Butchers, which employ 60 butchers and supply caterers with meat, are refusing to comment on their plans for the site, which used to supply all 10 NHS trusts in South Wales and four local authorities in North Wales.

Welsh Health Supplies (WHS) were forced to put the supply contract out to tender after meat processors T H Sutcliffe collapsed with the loss of 100 jobs. A new deal is set to complete on 1 August, but WHS team leader John Lewis has confirmed that Welsh Bros. Butchers will not be the new suppliers.

It now seems likely that Welsh Bros. Butchers will use the factory to process meat for their catering supplies business, although they will not discuss their plans or confirm whether they will take on extra staff.

Susan Evans, of Baker Tilly, the company that managed the administration of T H Sutcliffe, said the deal was completed on Friday, 23 June at 4pm and there was "no competition."

"No-one else put in a formal offer," she said. The abattoir in Caernavon, which formed the other half of T H Sutcliffe's business, is "under offer, subject to contract" added Evans, who would not say whether Welsh Bros. Butchers were the bidders.

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