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Historic factory to close despite dailies’ campaign

A factory is to close with the loss of more than 100 jobs despite campaigns by two sister newspapers to save it.

The Norwich Evening News and Eastern Daily Press delivered an 11,000 signature-strong petition against plans by drinks giant Britvic to close its manufacturing plant in Norwich, where Unilever also produces Colman’s Mustard.

But despite the titles’ efforts, Unilever has announced it will now close the 160-year-old factory – affecting 113 jobs.

The move threatens to end a 200-year association between Colman’s and Norwich.

NEN uni

As well as the petition, in October the Evening News urged supporters of Norwich City Football Club to wear replica shirts featuring the Colman’s logo in support of the campaign.

Both titles splashed on the factory’s closure on Friday.

Of Unilever’s decision, editor David Powles said: “We’re devastated but sadly not particularly surprised.

“A staggering number of people backed our campaign, showing the pride people in Norwich have in the Colman’s Mustard association. That makes this decision even sadder.

“I want to thank my team for their efforts and the public for doing their bit and getting behind us.”



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  • January 8, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Sorry but not only was their campaign pointless as the decision had already been made,but an 11,000 signature petition from a norwich population of around 214,000 people ( or 850,000 including the wider Norfolk region) is hardly representative and sadly shows just how insignificant the titles are to the city and county these days.

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  • January 11, 2018 at 9:50 am

    In many ways a petition with such a small representative number of signatures, what is it 5%? is likely to do more harm than good as it could be taken as a lack of support from the local people towards the closure plan, I believe the company also didn’t deem it worthy of sending a key representative to meet the editor when he took it to them, that tells us a lot about how seriously this petition was taken.

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