OVER 300 workers at Tulip Foods in Bromborough could lose their jobs after its parent company announced plans to close the site.

Tulip International said today it was starting a 90-day consultation period with 303 staff at the cooked meat packaging factory - blaming the current economic downturn.

The £12.5m facility opened in Bromborough in 1998 after relocating from two sites in New Brighton and Moreton.

Tulip spokesman Ken Wallace said: "We have announced our intention to close the site, however we've now entered into a 90-day consultation period with everyone potentially impacted by the announcement.

"During that period we will look at any alternative to the proposed closure."

The Unite union, which represents many of the workers at the factory, said it would be pressing Tulip for more information on the rationale behind the closure decision.

Unite's Franny Joyce said: "We will not take Tulipís plans to close this site lying down. We owe it to our members and their families, who are angry, bitter and devastated, to do everything in our power to fight these proposals.

"Unite is seeking clarity on the rationale behind this decision, and an explanation as to why this factory is being closed down.

"Only two years ago this loyal workforce implemented new shift patterns that dramatically reduced costs and increased efficiency at Bromborough.

"This followed a successful campaign ten years ago to relocate to this purpose built facility to avoid complete withdrawal from the Wirral. Yet at the first sign of trouble during these difficult times the company decides to pay back its loyal workforce with closure.

"Unite and our hard working reps will do everything they can to explore alternatives to save this factory."

Bromborough councillor Steve Niblock said: "This is very disappointing News and will be devastating for the people involved.

"The council is offering what assistance it can but in the current economic climate it's going to be very difficult for those 303 people if Tulip closes."