A PACKAGING company in Poole is to close with the loss of 120 jobs.

The future of Crown Closures in Lake Road has been in jeopardy for months – but it has now been confirmed that the operation is to be shut down completely.

The Echo understands that the factory, which produces bottle tops and packaging materials, will be wound down between now and June, with redundancies being made each month as production is moved elsewhere in Europe.

Councillor Xena Dion, cabinet portfolio holder for the economy, Borough of Poole, said: “We are disappointed to hear that approximately 120 members of staff will lose their jobs at Crown Closures. We understand this is due to a reorganisation within Crown following a review of their European Operations.

“We, along with other agencies such as Dorset Growth Hub and Job Centre Plus, are already working with Crown Closures to help all of those that may be affected.”

The source close to the factory who asked not to be named said: “They are going to try to keep the factory open until then.

“Staff are going to go each month until they run it down to just a handful.

“They don’t know when they are going to go – it could be next week and they wouldn’t know. They have been told some will go each month depending on what lines are running, and which ones have gone to other countries.

“A lot of them have been there for years since they were apprentices.

“I dread to think how they’re feeling – especially the young men with young families to support. I feel very sorry for them.”

She said she believed production lines had been dismantled in their entirety and moved to Poland and Germany where labour was cheaper.

The factory, formerly known as Carnaud Metal Box, has operated from the site since the war. It was bought out by US-based Crown Holdings Inc in 1996. Rumours about its closure have abounded for years.

Earlier this summer the company confirmed that it had entered a consultation process.

A spokesman said at the time: “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.”

They added on Tuesday afternoon: "Following a thorough consultation with Trade Union representatives, the site will close next year at a date yet to be confirmed.

"We will continue to support the 102 employees affected as well as offer them the best advice and support to secure alternative employment."