Production may have stopped at the Coty factory in Seaton Delaval, but work continues by partners in a response group to find new business use for the site.
It was formed following a decision last year by the beauty company to close its operations in the area, following a review of global manufacturing operations.
While formal meetings of the full group – which has worked closely with Coty – have now ended, key agencies are continuing work to secure future economic use for the site.
They will also still provide support to staff and former staff where required. The group has included representation from Seaton Valley Community Council and Jobcentre Plus.
The site has been marketed by Coty’s agent Colliers and it is working with prospective purchasers.
Development company Arch and other agencies have also been providing support to this process and will continue to do so until, and beyond, the successful sale of the site.
A large proportion of staff have secured new roles within Coty’s global network, gained employment with another company or started their own business.
A small number of employees remain on site, some of which are still seeking employment, carrying out close down activities.
County council cabinet member Richard Wearmouth said: “The group has achieved a significant number of successful outcomes, working alongside Coty to provide support to employees as the factory moved towards its closure.”
He added: “We cannot underestimate the impact this sad closure has had on employees and the local community.
“The response group has been acutely aware of this, as it has worked to mitigate impacts and to ensure the best possible outcomes for those affected.
“We appreciate that this has been an extremely difficult time for staff, but hope that the support package from Coty, combined with wider assistance through partners on the taskforce, has ensured that staff have had the best possible opportunities available to plan for their futures.
“Parties will continue to work with the company as it moves towards sale of the site – with the aim of securing a suitable and economically advantageous use for the future, with jobs for local people.
“The taskforce would like to thank all partner agencies for their support.”
Weekly sessions took place to support staff and additional training was provided for staff who wanted to brush up on skills such as job applications and interview techniques.
Kay Plumley, former site leader at the Seaton Delaval factory, said: “I am very pleased that so many of my colleagues have been able to find positive outcomes for themselves, after the decision last year to close the factory in Seaton Delaval.
“The leadership and support provided by the local HR team and the broader Coty organisation, the outplacement service provider, the various groups and agencies represented on the response team and especially all of the local employers, has been exceptional throughout.
“The company will continue to provide support to those few who have not yet found a new role and will progress the sale of the site, with the aim to secure fresh economic activity in the area.”