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Twinings Tea Looses Grant for New Polish Factory

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Twinings Tea Looses Grant for New Polish Factory

Twinings Tea Looses Grant for New Polish Factory
June 03
13:10 2011

The European Commision (EC) has told Twinings Tea makers that they will not be receiving a £10 million grant for the construction of a new plant in Poland. The controversy surrounding the move has stemmed back as far a 2009 when the move was announced.

 The firm sparked controversy when in 2009 it told 286 Tyneside workers they would loose their jobs as their work was moving to a new factory in Poland. The £10 million grant awarded to Twinings was to come from a taxpayer-funded EU grant. Owner AB Foods is planning to open a £27 million site in Poland later this year.

 The grant was not awarded as the European Commission said the firm failed to prove the move was regeneration rather than relocation. Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England told BBC, “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.”

 Twinings has always insisted it did not plan its move based on receiving the cash, and is still to go ahead with the closure of the North Shields factory. Last month the European Commissioner in charge of regional policy, Johannes Hahn, came to Newcastle and said he was still hopeful of recovering the cash, as others continued to argue for a change in the law.

 Twinings wants to move production to Asia in order to take advantage of the growing popularity of tea in Asian markets, and it says it sees Poland as a more central location for its European expansion. The company plans to invest £6m in its Hampshire Operation, which was also set to be affected by the move to Poland.

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