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Friday, 29 August 2014

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Jobs risk as Ulverston firm eyes move

A FURNESS firm is considering relocating to the south of England, putting around 16 jobs at risk.

By Natalie Chapples

Chiltern Seeds, based in Bortree Stile, Ulverston, dispatches seeds worldwide through its mail order and online services.

It employs around 16 people, mainly part-time staff.

Company owner, Bridget Bowden, plans to retire and has told staff she wants the business to remain in the family.

The Evening Mail has seen a briefing document presented to staff on April 20.

Mrs Bowden said her daughters want to continue the company, but in Oxfordshire, near to where they are based.

A redundancy consultation process has started, but no notices of redundancy have been made.

Staff have also been told that there would be opportunities for jobs with the company if it relocates.

Chiltern Seeds has been in Ulverston since 1980. Mrs Bowden and her late husband, Douglas, brought the business to South Cumbria from the Chiltern Hills, in Buckinghamshire, where the company was established in 1976.

The company sells fresh seeds of almost 4,000 varieties, many of which are rare and unusual.

The Evening Mail understands if the Ulverston base closes, this would happen towards the end of August and no later than September.

A five-week consultation period started on April 20.

The Evening Mail contacted Mrs Bowden, who said she could not comment because of the legal process.

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