Daniel Kawczynski, MP for Shrewsbury & Atcham, has today hit
out at plans by British Sugar to close the sugar factory at Allscott.
The Allscott factory, which employs up to 150 staff at peak times,
is to be closed after the 2006/2007 season, it was confirmed today
by British Sugar Corporate Affairs Director, Mr Chris Carter. This
bombshell results from the company's decision to concentrate sugar
beet processing in four sites in the UK, not including the Shropshire
"I am deeply concerned at this news," said Mr Kawczynski, "which
has apparently been brought about by the reform of the EU sugar
regime. As well as the staff at the sugar factory itself, there
are 650 sugar beet farmers who supply Allscott, whose livelihoods
are now in jeopardy."
Mr Kawczynski has immediately contacted the Chief Executive of
British Sugar, to ask him to reconsider the plan to close the Allscott
site. In particular, he has suggested that the plant should be
considered for conversion to a bio-ethanol production site, which
would safeguard jobs at the factory and the livelihoods of Shropshire
sugar beet farmers, as well as promoting the availability of renewable
"I have also written to the Secretary of State for the Department
of the Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs," explained Mr
Kawczynski, "to ask for his help in finding alternative markets
for our Shropshire sugar beet farmers."
* Sugar beet averaging nearly one million tonnes at a value of
over £25m per year is purchased by the Allscott sugar factory
from 650 sugar beet farmers.
The factory process up to 6,000 tonnes of sugar beet per day,
producing around 500 tonnes of crystal sugar, plus by products
such as molassed sugar beet feed.
The factory produced its own electricity and effluent treatment
ponds on site are home to various rare species of birds.
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