‘Devastating blow’ puts 230 jobs at risk as Yodel reveals site closure plans

At least 230 jobs are at risk after parcel delivery giant Yodel revealed plans to close its site near Oldham.

Yodel was saved in February when rival logistics company Shift, backed by investment bank Solano Partners, agreed a rescue deal. However the company has now begun consultations about its proposals for the distribution site in Shaw.

Yodel has regional distribution sites at Wednesbury, West Midlands and Hatfield, Hertfordshire, and 47 local depots

Cllr Arooj Shah, leader of Oldham Council and cabinet member for reform and regeneration, said: “This is devastating news for local people and their families and friends. These potentially large-scale job losses come at a time when people are already struggling because of the cost of living crisis in the UK.”

“It’s a real blow for local people but we are determined to do everything we can to help them and to continue growing various areas of our local economy and help create more jobs for the future.”

Officers from Oldham Council have already been in discussions with Yodel management and have developed a range of support, including basing specialist training and employment advisors at Yodel’s Shaw location to help staff.

Yodel chief executive Mike Hancox said: “Following a comprehensive strategic review of our operations we have taken the difficult decision to propose to close our national sortation and transport centre located in Shaw, Greater Manchester.

“To meet demand for growing capacity and evolving parcel types with different sortation needs, we continue to invest in infrastructure and technology across our network including our core Wednesbury and Hatfield sortation centres.”

Mark Todd, Usdaw’s national officer, added: “Yodel’s proposal to close their Shaw site is a devastating blow for staff and the wider community.

“Usdaw will now enter into meaningful consultation talks with the company, where we will interrogate their business case for this closure and seek the best possible outcome for our members.”

The site was opened in 1979 for Littlewoods and grew to become Oldham’s largest private sector employer, with 1,250 people based there around 15 years ago.

More recently The Very Group moved out of the site in 2021, with its former buildings being demolished to make room for planned housing developments.