More details behind Sinclair redundancy consultation released

William Sinclair Horticulture has begun a 45-day redundancy consultation with almost 100 staff.

Marketing director Simon McArdle says 2012’s poor peat harvest sparked issues at the company, along with a "higher than anticipated cost of re-location" to its new Ellesmere Port ‘supersite’.

Sinclair is now closing its Bolton Fell (Carlisle) bark plant, Astley Moss peat bog near Manchester and Beevor Street, Lincoln storage facility.

Under the proposal, production of chemicals and fertilisers would continue at the company’s Firth Road, Lincoln site; however the head office, growing media and central admin functions would transfer to Ellesmere Port.

Sinclair says it has incurred losses after the poor peat harvest of 2012 and the enforced closure of Bolton Fell under a compulsory purchase order from Natural England.

Some 74 jobs will be lost at Lincoln (across two sites) plus nine at Bolton Fell, three at Astley Moss and 20 at Ellesmere Port.

McArdle said: "We have not necessarily enjoyed the growing media market share we would have looked for. April was fantastic but May has not been. There’s been cold temperatures, which has been the key driver."

He said William Sinclair "damaged its reputation" with the quality of products supplied in 2013/14 after the poor harvest though its growing media products are now top performers.

McArdle said in 2013/14 there was "not enough peat to go round" and "some materials we used were not as good as they should have been", explaining that they were not "retail-ready" and had "not been processed for as long as they could have been".

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