King’s Lynn jobs at risk as Gardman announces move

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Some 150 jobs in the Lynn area look set to disappear as gardening and wild bird-care product firm Gardman relocate to Northamptonshire.

Staff at the company’s premises in Clenchwarton Road, West Lynn, and Hardwick Narrows were told today that the firm was moving to a a purpose-built warehouse in Daventry.

Relocation packages are on offer for those who wish to go to Daventry and some staff may be accommodated in vacant posts at the firm’s head office in Peterborough – but it seems likely that many will be made redundant, starting in October with the Lynn sites closed by the end of the year.

A statement released this afternoon by Gardman said the move followed a 12-month review of its current operations,

It said: “Our current warehouse facilities are ageing, inefficient to run and do not have the capacity to support the current business needs nor accommodate the future growth aspirations of the business.”

“The review considered various options which included new warehousing within the King’s Lynn area but was unable to identify suitable alternative sites. A Daventry location will enable Gardman to work more efficiently due to being based closer to its customers.”

The statement said the Daventry facility will be handed over in the summer and be fully operational by the end of the year. The head office will remain in Peterborough.

It went on to say: “Moving the operation to new facilities will enable the company to progress with its business plans for further growth whilst improving service to customers.

“As a consequence of this decision, regrettably, all positions based at all warehousing locations will be at risk of redundancy. However, there will be opportunities for employees to relocate to the new facility or be considered for any vacant roles within the Peterborough head office.”

Peter Utting, chief executive of Gardman, said: “In the current market of increasing customer demands, we continually re-evaluate our supply chain and service proposition. Therefore, we have taken the decision to relocate our warehouse operations to a purpose-built, centrally-based, environmentally-friendly site “

“This decision has not been taken lightly and is obviously an unsettling time for those affected. The King’s Lynn team have consistently shown their dedication and commitment and we will support all affected employees through the transition.”

The Gardman website says that the firm offers “over 4,000 lines across key categories such as core gardening, garden living, homestyle accessories, garden leisure, wild bird care and pet care. Our recent management buy-out marks the beginning of another exciting new phase of development, putting us in our strongest financial position since 2007.

“This new found stability allows us to build on our reputation as market leaders, drive our brands further forward and deliver fantastic growth opportunities for our customers.”