Image demonstrating Factory response group reviews activities

Factory response group reviews activities

Production may have stopped at the Coty factory in Seaton Delaval, but work continues by partners in a response group to find new business use for the site.

A response group was formed following a decision last year by the beauty company to close its operations in the town, after a review of global manufacturing operations.

The group has worked closely with Coty with the primary aims of ensuring the best possible outcomes for all employees, as well as for the local community at Seaton Delaval.

While formal meetings of the full group have now ended key agencies are continuing work to secure future economic use for the site.  They will also still provide support to staff and former staff where required.

The site has been marketed by Coty’s agents Colliers, who have been working with prospective purchasers.  Development company Arch and other agencies have also been providing support to this process, and will continue to do so until, and beyond, the successful sale of the site.

A key priority of the response group has been to achieve suitable outcomes for all staff at the factory, and this work has achieved considerable success.

A large proportion of staff have secured new roles or been able to move to new ventures such as starting their own business, and some employees secured positions within Coty’s global network.  

There has been strong interest from local and regional companies seeking the skills and benchmark capability of Coty staff - and positions secured have included at Accord, AkzoNobel, Nissan, Draeger, MSD, Nissan and Piramal.

A small number of employees remain on site, carrying out close down activities - some of which are still seeking employment.

The response group has been co-ordinated by Northumberland development company Arch, in partnership with Northumberland County Council, bringing a number of key agencies together to support staff and look towards a sustainable economic use for the site.

The group has also included representation from Seaton Valley Community Council, Jobcentre Plus and a range of other local and regional organisations, agencies and individuals which have wished to support the workforce.

Weekly sessions for staff were led by Jobcentre Plus and the Careers Service, in collaboration with Coty, and a number of careers fairs held at the site.  Additional training was provided for staff who wanted to brush up on skills such as job applications and interview techniques. Support will continue to be available to staff who need it.

Cllr Richard Wearmouth has attended the Coty response group as cabinet member for economic development at Northumberland County Council and chair of the Northumberland development company Arch.  

He said:  “We cannot underestimate the impact this sad closure has had on employees and the local community.  The response group have been acutely aware of this, as it has worked to mitigate impacts and to ensure the best possible outcomes for those affected.

“It has achieved a significant number of successful outcomes, working alongside Coty to provide support to employees as the factory moved towards its closure.

“We appreciate that this has been an extremely difficult time for staff but hope that the support package from Coty, combined with wider assistance through partners on the taskforce, has ensure that staff have had the best possible opportunities available to plan for their futures.

“Parties will continue to work 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, with jobs for local people.

“The task force would like to thank all partner agencies for their support.

Kay Plumley, former site leader at the Seaton Delaval factory, said:  “I am very pleased that so many of my colleagues have been able to find positive outcomes for themselves, after the decision last year to close the factory in Seaton Delaval.

“The leadership and support provided by the local HR team and the broader Coty organisation, the outplacement service provider, the various groups and agencies represented on the Response team and especially all of the local employers, has been exceptional throughout.

“The company will continue to provide support to those few who have not yet found a new role and will progress the sale of the site, with the aim to secure fresh economic activity in the town.”

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