A PACKAGING company in Hamworthy is in jeopardy after talks were held about the future of the site.

Crown Closures, formerly known as Carnaud Metal Box, in Lake Road, manufactures bottle tops and packaging materials. It was founded in 1939 and later bought out by US-based Crown Holdings Inc in 1996.

Yesterday, a member of staff, who asked not to be named, said they were worried about their job as up to 120 people could become unemployed if the site closed.

Another employee that came out of the factory would not comment to the Echo – but the announcement came as no surprise to residential neighbours of the factory, who said rumours about its closure had been abounding for years.

Neil Ford, who lives opposite, said: “For 10 years there have been rumours of it closing. The chimney was going to come down 10 years ago.

“They have got a bigger place in south Wales.”

He said a few years ago the council sent letters asking if people wanted it kept as an industrial site or would prefer to see housing built there, but has not heard anything since.

Further along Lake Road a resident said the company had three different names in the 15 years she had lived there.

“We heard a rumour a year ago it was going to Poland,” she said.

“There are still lots of big lorries going in there.

“It’s still productive – a lot of people go there.”

Carol Davis, regional human resources director for the UK and Ireland at Crown Europe, confirmed the company had started a consultation process on the site, but no ‘final decisions’ had yet been made.

She said: “Crown is currently in talks with trade union representatives about the future of the site, following an in-depth review of operations associated with the food business.

“Increased competition in the European closures market has impacted the cost base of the sector.

“To protect the future of Crown’s wider business, and its employees, as well as to ensure we remain competitive in the market, we need to consider options for restructuring.”