EU Cash Won’t Be Used to Relocate Hampshire Twinings Jobs

3 June 2011

Keith Taylor, Green MEP for Hampshire and the South East, has welcomed the news from the European Commission that Twinings tea’s new Polish production plant is not eligible for a £10 million EU grant. Twinings is cutting nearly 400 jobs in the UK as they move production from Andover, Hampshire and North Shields to Poland.

Over the last year Keith has repeatedly questioned the Commission’s decision to award Twinings EU regeneration funding, claiming that it would breach EU rules. He has put pressure on the Commission not to allow the funding to be paid and has called on Twinings to withdraw their application.

Most recently Keith visited Andover, home to the Twinings production plant, to collect support for a petition which urges the Commission to look again at this case.

Keith said: “I’ve been challenging this grant for over a year now. Today’s decision to cancel it is a victory for Twinings staff who’ve lost their jobs and the campaigners who supported them. EU regeneration cash should be used for genuine regeneration, and not simply for corporations to move jobs to lower wage economies and then get tax-payers to foot the bill.

“I’m still trying to persuade the UK government and the Andover MP, Sir George Young, to apply for EU funding to help redundant workers retrain. The funds are there, but sadly no application has yet been made.

“That Twinings decided to move was entirely their own decision, taken for commercial reasons, and it is deeply regrettable that jobs have been lost. That they very nearly got the taxpayer to fund part of their relocation tells me there is a loophole in EU regulations that needs closing to stop this happening again.”

Keith has asked the UK government to apply for EU funding which is available to pay for the retraining of workers made redundant from Twinings.

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