Work is underway to support the workforce at a factory in Seaton Delaval which is due to close next year.

Beauty company Coty has announced that its operation in the community will close in 2018 after it reviewed its global manufacturing operations.

Responding quickly to the risk of closure, Arch and Northumberland County Council worked in partnership with Coty to form a response group. The remit of the group is to help support employees, assess the impact on local supply chain and provide support to ensure a sustainable future use for the site.

The group also includes representation from Seaton Delaval Community Council, Jobcentre Plus and a range of other local and regional organisations, agencies and individuals which wish to support the workforce.

The group is working closely with Coty with the aim of ensuring the best possible outcomes for all employees, as well as for the local community at Seaton Delaval.

Weekly sessions for staff led by Jobcentre Plus and the Careers Service, in collaboration with Coty, are already proving successful, and two careers fairs have also been arranged at the site – one in October and another in January.

Some employees have already secured positions – a number within Coty’s global network, and some with local or regional companies.

Additional training is being provided for staff who want to brush up on skills such as job applications and interview technique.  Northumberland College has also provided support by organising an NVQ to formalise existing skills, so that people can add these to their CVs.

Cllr Richard Wearmouth attends the Coty response group as cabinet member for economic development at Northumberland County Council and chair of Arch.  He said:  “I am very pleased that the group is doing some excellent work, alongside Coty, to provide support to employees as this factory moves towards its sad closure next year.

“We appreciate that this is a difficult time for staff but hope that the support package from Coty, combined with wider assistance through partners on the taskforce, will ensure that they have the best possible opportunities available to plan for the future.  Like Coty themselves, we want to see suitable outcomes for all staff.

“We will also be working with the company as it moves towards sale of the site – with the aim of securing a suitable and economically advantageous use for the future.  It would be great to see new jobs created here for a local workforce.”

Kay Plumley, site leader at the Seaton Delaval factory, said: “We are fully committed to supporting all of our colleagues through the coming months, and ensuring that they have every possible resource available to help them either relocate with Coty, find another job, or pursue other future directions that they might wish to take.

“Our priority is to ensure that there are as wide a range of opportunities available to them as possible.  We have been pleased by the number and quality of companies coming forward who are looking for the skills of our workforce, and this has already resulted in some colleagues securing new jobs.”

Under the remit of the response group, Arch and Northumberland County Council will also be looking at how they can attract new investment to help boost Seaton Delaval’s future sustainability, including ongoing work with Government to secure all available support.