BERNARD MATTHEWS has proposed the closure of its Great Witchingham cooked poultry site.

The closure would mark the end of poultry production at the site, which has been owned by Bernard Matthews since 1955.

See also: Poultry Network’s 2023 in review

The adjacent Great Witchingam Hall has featured heavily in marketing material throughout the brand’s existence.

It currently operates as a cooked poultry facility and employs around 600 people.

A spokesperson for the firm said that, following a review, the cooked meat site was “not a sustainable operation”.

Loss making

“Despite investment in recent years and our efforts to secure more business, it is still loss-making and not commercially viable.

“Therefore, our proposal is to cease operations at this location, putting the site at risk of closure.

“We understand this will be extremely disappointing news for everyone concerned at Great Witchingham. This proposal is in no way a reflection of the hard work and commitment our colleagues show every day.

“If closure is confirmed, we will be able to offer colleagues alternative roles at our sister site at Holton, or across our wider group at company sites in East Anglia, where we intend to invest and grow.”

Bernard Matthews reported a £10m pre-tax loss in its most recent financial results for the year to 1 January 2023 – a smaller loss than the £25m a year earlier.