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Production stops at Silver Spring

By Folkestone Herald  |  Posted: December 13, 2012

By Mike Sims

  • GONE: Silver Spring has ceased production

  • GONE: Silver Spring has ceased production

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NEARLY 70 workers have been made redundant and production has ceased at Silver Spring, the Herald can reveal.

The soft drinks firm was until recently one of Folkestone's biggest employers, still employing about 200 people in 2010, but now just 14 staff remain to "wind down" the business.

The company went into administration in September and no buyer has been found, resulting in 68 people now being made redundant.

The running of the Park Farm Road business, which has been in Folkestone since 1870, was passed to advisory and restructuring specialists Zolfo Cooper to administer in late September.

But despite concluding a sale of some plant and machinery assets, no acceptable offers have been received for the business.

Philip Carter, president of the Shepway Economic and Regeneration Partnership, said the news was a big blow for Folkestone.

He said: "It's a disaster for the area.

Sadly, it's been badly hit by the recession, like so many businesses, but it's not good.

"It was nearly impossible for them to compete with the big boys.

"But it's a fairly large site, so what will happen to it now?"

A Silver Spring source told the Herald: "This really is the end of an era for Folkestone. Silver Spring has employed hundreds of people over the years and is a massive part of this town.

"Everyone knows it, but now there's no more Bing or Perfectly Clear.

"I understand staff were called in to a 7am meeting at the end of November and told that's it, they were being let go.

"They had weeks of not knowing much and it's devastating, especially just before Christmas."

Peter Holder, of Zolfo Cooper, said: "We have explored all options to sell the business and will continue to do so.

"Unfortunately, as no acceptable offers have been received and we are unable to provide customers with the commitments they require, we have made the difficult decision to cease production.

"The majority of employees have been made redundant while a small number have been retained to assist with the managed wind-down of the business.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank all employees for their dedication during this unsettling period and wish them well for the future."

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