AROUND 40 jobs are set to be axed at a mushroom plant in Thakeham.
But mushroom production in the village will have a viable and profitable future, staff at the former Sussex Mushrooms site were told last week.
The company, now known as Thakeham Mushrooms Ltd, was taken over by Northern Ireland based Monaghan Mushrooms last year.
On Friday Vincent Turley, who has come over from Ireland to oversee operations at the site, said he was currently trying to make the site viable and profitable so that mushroom production there will begin to expand.
He said: “We need to make the current operation viable.
“There is a workforce of 400 at present and we are looking at around a 10 per cent reduction in the number of workers.
“I am optimistic that we will achieve that through voluntary redundancies and will not need to make any compulsorary redundancies.
“We are currently consulting with staff and early indications are that we will achieve the necessary cut backs through voluntary measures.”
Mr Turley stressed that these redundancies were short term measures so that the future of the site could be secured.
“Once it is viable, our plans are to invest in the site and we expect to see growth within 12 months.
“Then we would be in a position to expand staffing and production.
“It is a bright future ahead, and not like the situation before the take over, when staff were not paid for weeks and their jobs were insecure.
“We are consulting fully with staff throughout all of this and I can only stress that these are simply short term measures,” he said.