DOZENS of workers at Travis Perkins’ distribution centre in Appleton Thorn are being made redundant weeks before Christmas, the Warrington Guardian understands.

The builders’ merchants giant has put its 11-acre industrial unit at Appleton Thorn Trading Estate on the market at a price on £7.95million.

But employees based at the Lyncastle Road site say a total of 88 jobs will be lost by the sale of the recently-refurbished 110,000sq ft plot.

Redundancies are believed to be being made in three phases, the first of which came on Friday, November 29.

A second phase of job losses will come on Friday, December 20 – less than a week before Christmas.

It is anticipated that the whole site will then be shut down by March next year.

The company’s sites at Omega, Howley and Lymm remain unaffected by the proposals.

A spokesman for Travis Perkins said: "After careful consideration and consultation with our colleagues, we announced our decision to close our Warrington range centre earlier last month.

"This is a facility that holds heavyside building materials stock and timber for our branches in this area.

"This closure is in line with our strategy to simplify our business and provide customers with the best possible service, and follows a recent trend for improved capability amongst our suppliers to source products more quickly and to deliver these directly to our branches or our customers’ building sites.

"As a result, our branches are now better positioned to meet customers’ demands themselves, potentially without the need for a Range Centre - which means this type of facility may no longer be part of our plans going forward.

"This means we have also announced to close our only other range centre in Cardiff.

"We are making every effort to redeploy colleagues where possible at both sites, and would like to make it clear that this will not affect any of our builders merchants branches."