LATEST NEWS: Nearly 800 jobs affected as Next makes 'difficult' decision over Bradford warehouse

A UNION said it is to begin talks with major retailer Next over the proposed closure of its Bradford warehouse.

Retail and distribution trade union Usdaw announced this lunchtime it will enter consultation talks with the clothing and homeware retailer over the future of its depot in Toftshaw Lane.

The union said Next has revealed it is proposing to close the facility and will consolidate its returns processing operation into a new online fulfilment depot being developed in South Elmsall, north of Doncaster.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The Bradford Next depot, off Toftshaw Lane and Stead RoadThe Bradford Next depot, off Toftshaw Lane and Stead Road (Image: Telegraph & Argus)

Usdaw national officer Mark Todd said: “Next management have briefed staff about their proposed closure of the Bradford site and development of a new operation at South Elmsall.

"Myself and Usdaw reps will now enter into a meaningful consultation talks, where we will have the opportunity to look at the company’s business case.

“Our priorities are to secure the best available deal for those impacted by these proposals and keep as many staff as possible employed within the business and where necessary support members securing alternative employment.

"In the meantime, we are providing our members with the support, advice and representation they need at this difficult time.”

Usdaw - Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers - is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with more than 350,000 members.

Most members work in the retail sector but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.

Labour MP for Bradford South Judith Cummins said: "This is worrying and difficult news for staff at Next Distribution’s facility on Toftshaw Lane.

"I have been in contact with Next Distribution and USDAW, the recognised trade union representing workers on the site, and I will continue to support staff as consultations continue.

"Affected workers need reassurance that they will get the help they need to access other roles within the business or the support to find new jobs elsewhere.”

Next has been contacted by the Telegraph & Argus for a comment.