FRESH calls to save the Faccenda chicken factory in Sutton Benger have been announced by Britain's biggest union.

Unite is calling for the Faccenda Group to drastically rethink the planned closure of the factory, which will result in the loss of 450 jobs.

The union has given company chiefs an alternative business plan that does involve another factory closure but would save a number of jobs.

Their plan would see two integrated factories doing different jobs and therefore cut down the cost of transportation.

Regional Industrial Officer for Unite Hugh Kirkbride said: "We believe this closure is totally unnecessary and does not make economic sense, not to mention the impact it will have on the 450 staff who work there.

"The factory is the backbone of this local rural economy.

"We are urging the company to take a serious look at our alternative proposals which will cut down on transportation costs and improve animal welfare.

"We believe the alternative plan provides the most sustainable long-term future for the greatest possible number of Faccenda workers, not just those at Sutton Benger."

The news of the planned closure in April was met with a wall of opposition from workers, local people and councillors.

Lead member for Economy at North Wiltshire District Council Viv Vines said: "We were all saddened to hear that the Faccenda factory is to close - this factory has been an important local employer and I am sure that workers there are devastated by this news.

"Our priority now is to help those workers through a very difficult time. It is usual to form a task group to bring all agencies together to work closely with the employer to ensure staff are given every opportunity to be re-deployed, re-skilled and made fully aware of the help available to them.

"We look forward to working with Faccenda to discuss how we can help."

The business has also shocked workers by announcing plans to invest £5million in its other factories in Brackley, Telford and Dudley in the next few months.

One worker, who wished to remain nameless said: "It is disgusting that bosses are putting up all this money to other factories on one hand and shutting us without a second thought.

"We are all fuming about this and I would not be surprised if there is a protest or riot soon."