A HISTORIC Worcester factory that made cans for some of the biggest names in the food and drink industry will close this summer with the loss of more than 100 jobs, it has been confirmed.

Staff at Carnaud Metalbox in Perry Wood Walk, off Wyld’s Lane, have been given the devastating news that the factory will be wound down over the next three months following a 90-day consultation.

Your Worcester News reported in January that 118 jobs were at risk at the packaging manufacturing plant when doubt was cast over its future.

A spokesman for Crown Cork and Seal, which took over the firm in 1996, said “a consistent decline in sales” due to changes in within the food packaging sector was behind the decision.

Metalbox opened its Perry Wood site in 1931. It was the first purpose-built open top can works in Britain.

In the past, it made packaging for household brands including Heinz, Cadbury, KP, Birdseye, Pepsi, Coke and Fray Bentos.

Today, a Crown spokesman said: “We can confirm redundancy notices have been served today with an expected end production date of July 7.

“We would like to recognise the professional attitude of all the employees and union representatives throughout the consultation process.”

Worcester MP Robin Walker said the news was “very sad” and praised staff for continuing to beat their production targets since January’s announcement.

He said he had also written to other manufacturing firms in the city in a bid to encourage them to take on Metalbox’s workforce.

On its website, Crown describes itself as a leader in metal packaging technology with operations in 41 countries employing 21,900 people and net sales of $8.5 billion (£5.5 billion).