THWAITES’ decision to axe 60 jobs with the closure of the majority of its Blackburn brewery is terrible news.

The job losses have been described as a bolt out of the blue by staff who have been left in the dark over where a new brewery could be based.

The company, which has 350 employees in the town, announced its intention to move from its current site more than a year ago.

But no redundancies were mentioned until yesterday.

Blackburn with Darwen Council had been trying to work out a deal with the brewery giant and Sainsbury’s for the town centre site. That deal has now collapsed, leaving the prospect of part of a key site undeveloped as the rest of the town centre is transformed.

However, what would be even more of a body blow would be if the company decided to relocate most of its brewery from the borough.

Thwaites has always been a fiercely proud Blackburn company providing employment to generations of loyal people from the town.

The firm needs to come clean about its new location now to reassure its employees – and if it is considering leaving the area, it needs to think again.