End of an era at Tata Chemicals Europe's Winnington plant

Closures at Tata's Winnington site.

Closures at Tata's Winnington site.

First published in News
Last updated

AN ENORMOUS part of Northwich’s industrial history was brought to a close with the last shift at Winnington’s soda ash plant yesterday, Sunday.

Soda ash has been produced at the site for 140 years.

Tata Chemicals Europe (TCE) announced last year that it was closing the plant, along with a Winnington-based calcium carbonate production plant, because of rising energy costs.

The closures mean 220 job losses but TCE was hoping to limit these to 75 compulsory redundancies.

Were you on the last shift? We want to hear your stories.

Leave your comments below, email the newsdesk at northwich@guardiangrp.co.uk or ring us on 01606 814624 .

Comments (8)

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4:47pm Mon 3 Feb 14

WHS says...

TATA said their incinerator would bring jobs to Northwich, no mention before they got permission to build it that they were closing the works at Winnington costing far more jobs than will be created by the "MONSTROSITY"!!
WHS.
TATA said their incinerator would bring jobs to Northwich, no mention before they got permission to build it that they were closing the works at Winnington costing far more jobs than will be created by the "MONSTROSITY"!! WHS. WHS
  • Score: 20

7:36pm Mon 3 Feb 14

The_Prophet says...

If certain groups had not protested and appealed against the proposed incinerator and put it behind almost 2 years, then the incinerator would probably be under construction right now, which could have potentially saved over 200 jobs....don't blame TATA for closing a plant which energy costs are the reason for the closure.
If certain groups had not protested and appealed against the proposed incinerator and put it behind almost 2 years, then the incinerator would probably be under construction right now, which could have potentially saved over 200 jobs....don't blame TATA for closing a plant which energy costs are the reason for the closure. The_Prophet
  • Score: -9

7:18pm Tue 4 Feb 14

carvin stone says...

Even if the incinerator were under construction right now it would be useless without a waste contract, I agree that energy costs are a major factor in the closure, however looking at recent pictures of the plant it looks like its been closed for years. I hope now TATA will clean up after themselves and not leave another eyesore in northwich, maybe then the local community might start to believe that they are a responsible company and not just after a quick quid from burning rubbish.!
Even if the incinerator were under construction right now it would be useless without a waste contract, I agree that energy costs are a major factor in the closure, however looking at recent pictures of the plant it looks like its been closed for years. I hope now TATA will clean up after themselves and not leave another eyesore in northwich, maybe then the local community might start to believe that they are a responsible company and not just after a quick quid from burning rubbish.! carvin stone
  • Score: 35

7:39pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Mcintosh says...

Quite right carvin. At the public meeting that TATA held in the town their representatives would not guarantee that if they got the go ahead for the EfW they would keep jobs in Northwich. I suspect they held off redundancies till now as part of the campaign to get approval for the EfW.
The closure of Winnington means they have plenty of surplus energy which they can use at Lostock. Pushing ahead with the EfW suggests they want to be an energy supplier to the Grid rather than a producer of soda ash. If they ever do get contracts to burn 'waste' then they will probably cease production of soda ash altogether. There is more profit in energy provision than soda ash.
Quite right carvin. At the public meeting that TATA held in the town their representatives would not guarantee that if they got the go ahead for the EfW they would keep jobs in Northwich. I suspect they held off redundancies till now as part of the campaign to get approval for the EfW. The closure of Winnington means they have plenty of surplus energy which they can use at Lostock. Pushing ahead with the EfW suggests they want to be an energy supplier to the Grid rather than a producer of soda ash. If they ever do get contracts to burn 'waste' then they will probably cease production of soda ash altogether. There is more profit in energy provision than soda ash. Mcintosh
  • Score: 22

11:43pm Wed 5 Feb 14

todayisagreatday says...

Wonder what will happen with the site now which is an eyesore.
Wonder what will happen with the site now which is an eyesore. todayisagreatday
  • Score: 9

12:35am Thu 6 Feb 14

Ruckit says...

Well as part of the plant (sodium Bicarbonate) is staying open most of the plant will probably stay standing, and the main office is a listed building I think.
Well as part of the plant (sodium Bicarbonate) is staying open most of the plant will probably stay standing, and the main office is a listed building I think. Ruckit
  • Score: 3

6:52am Fri 7 Feb 14

Suffolk Steve says...

Guardian: it's calcium chloride not calcium carbonate - do your homework. The main office isn't a listed building. Continued sodium bicarbonate manufacture will not require the rest of the facility to stay standing other than the manufacturing plant for that product opposite the boat lift. What TATA actually choose to do with the rest of the asset and whether they can afford demolition etc. will no doubt determine what you see changing there in the short to medium term. Pause for thought for the folks who have lost their jobs and the effect on their families please. Like it or not, this has been a major part of Northwich and is in fact a fundamental facet of the nation's industrial history. Very sad.
Guardian: it's calcium chloride not calcium carbonate - do your homework. The main office isn't a listed building. Continued sodium bicarbonate manufacture will not require the rest of the facility to stay standing other than the manufacturing plant for that product opposite the boat lift. What TATA actually choose to do with the rest of the asset and whether they can afford demolition etc. will no doubt determine what you see changing there in the short to medium term. Pause for thought for the folks who have lost their jobs and the effect on their families please. Like it or not, this has been a major part of Northwich and is in fact a fundamental facet of the nation's industrial history. Very sad. Suffolk Steve
  • Score: 6

6:07pm Sat 8 Feb 14

L Byrne says...

Suffolk Steve

Regarding your point about whether TATA can afford to clean up any mess it leaves in Winnington, it is worth noting that the TATA Group made a profit after tax of £3.40 billion in 2012. So they are not short of a few bob.
Suffolk Steve Regarding your point about whether TATA can afford to clean up any mess it leaves in Winnington, it is worth noting that the TATA Group made a profit after tax of £3.40 billion in 2012. So they are not short of a few bob. L Byrne
  • Score: 1

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