E.ON jobs bombshell for Ipswich

A jobs bombshell has hit Ipswich after energy company E.ON revealed the closure of its Wherstead Park offices.More than 300 jobs are to be lost at the site when the company shuts its doors next summer.

A MAJOR jobs bombshell has hit Ipswich as energy company E.ON has revealed it is pulling out of its Wherstead Park offices with significant job losses.

More than 300 jobs are to be lost at the site when the company shuts its doors in the summer next year.

Today the 339 staff were all given the grim news that the company is pulling its offices out of the area.

Some are being given the option to move to E.ON's Coventry offices and others may be able to get jobs with the company at Rayleigh in south Essex.

The closure will bring to an end a long history of electricity distribution through Ipswich dating back to the old government-owned Eastern Electricity business.

Today's announcement should not affect the sponsorship of Ipswich Town. A club spokesman said the current sponsorship deal finished at the end of this season and added the club were in discussions with the utility giant concerning an extension.

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Powergen took over the former TXU Energi business in 2002 and within months had announced plans to slash the workforce from 1,000 to 250 - all based at the former Eastern Electricity headquarters at Wherstead Park.

They were involved in selling energy - both gas and electricity - to business users and over the last few years the number employed there has crept up to 339.

Peter Haigh, Director of E.ON's B2B Business, said: “I know this will be a difficult time for affected employees, but we have not taken this decision lightly.

“I can reassure everyone at Wherstead that we're fully committed to offering them all the help we can in finding alternative employment with E.ON - including at our Rayleigh site in the region - or with a new employer.

“Anyone who's unable to find alternative employment with us will be offered a redundancy package that is considerably more favourable than statutory requirements. Our main priority is to treat people fairly and to offer everyone full support and counselling.”

E.ON's only presence in the region is now its Scroby Sands wind turbine plant - but that only relies on a handful of engineers.

The decision does not affect the maintenance of power supplies, that was sold off by the old Eastern Group years ago and the network is now owned and operated by EDF Energy which has its main depot in Fore Hamlet.