A cosmetics company has confirmed it will be moving out of its factory in Bideford, putting 122 jobs at risk.

KDC/One Swallowfield in Bideford. Picture: Matt SmartKDC/One Swallowfield in Bideford. Picture: Matt Smart

Owners of the KDC/One Swallowfield factory in Alverdiscott Road Industrial Estate have made the decision to transfer production to Northern France following a six-month review.

Staff at the factory were notified of the proposals on Wednesday morning (June 17) before being sent home for the day.

Consultation documents seen by the Gazette said all Bideford-based employees are at risk of redundancy, with the site expected to close at the end of August. An exact date has yet to be confirmed.

The move comes after the Swallowfield plc factory was acquired by KDC/One last year.

Pencil production at KDC/One Swallowfield.Pencil production at KDC/One Swallowfield.

KDC/One Europe president Matthew Gazzard said the decision to transfer production was a ‘necessary’ one.

He said: “This strategic review of our European businesses has been underway since last November.

“While the decision to transfer production from Bideford to Northern France has not been an easy one, it is necessary to move the businesses forward, allowing us to maximise production capabilities, continuously innovate and meet customer expectations in a highly demanding and competitive marketplace.

“We will be working closely with work representatives to ensure all our employees have access to the support they need during this time.

KDC/One Swallowfield in Bideford. Picture: Matt SmartKDC/One Swallowfield in Bideford. Picture: Matt Smart

“I realise this will not be an easy time for many and I very much regret that.”

The operation at Bideford was opened in 1972 and consists of a 50,000 sq ft manufacturing facility and 10,000 sq ft warehousing.

It specialises in cosmetic pencils such as eyeliners, lip liners and brow pencils, as well as a range of other lip care products such as balms and butters.

The pencil manufacturing will be transferred to a facility in Hesdin-l’Abbé in Northern France.

Mr Gazzard said the move was ‘in no way’ a response to the Covid-19 pandemic or Brexit.

He added: “We had been strategically reviewing the business structure for many months following our acquisitions in Europe last year before the pandemic arose, albeit the events of recent months requires the company, as with all businesses, to build additional resilience into its operational model.”