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The Co-operative Group has confirmed that a significant number of staff will take redundancy, following its move to consolidate two DCs.

Its Wellington, Somerset and Portbury, Bristol DCs will merge into a new £20m regional distribution centre at Avonmouth.

A spokeswoman for the grocery retailer told MT: "As planned, as the new DC at Avonmouth begins operation, there will be a phased reduction in the number of employees at our Chelston site in Wellington and at our Portbury site.

"All staff at our Chelston site were given the opportunity to transfer to the new site. In total, approximately 61 staff at the site have opted to transfer, including 20 drivers under TUPE and 41 warehouse operatives who are transferring under existing terms.

"Approximately 253 staff will take redundancy and all will have left the business by the end of November," added the spokeswoman. "Every effort is being made to redeploy as many as possible of those remaining with The Co-operative Group or to help them find alternative employment."

Warehouse operatives and drivers at the Portbury site, meanwhile, will transfer to the new site under Tupe in three stages, starting in January 2013 and continuing until the Portbury site closes in April 2013, she said. Around 340 staff at Portbury will transfer in all and redundancies there "are likely to be minimal".

While there are currently no plans to close any other sites as a result of the new Avonmouth depot, the new facility will serve around 492 Co-op food stores in the Bristol, north Somerset and south Wales areas "and operations will be transferred to the new site where it's more efficient to service stores from there", added the spokeswoman.

When fully operational, the Avonmouth site will employ around 900 staff, some 400 of whom will have made the switch from the Chelston and Portbury sites in all.