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Company axes 225 jobs

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A BRANCH of the Swedish agrochemical firm Syngenta at Yalding, near Maidstone, is to close with a loss of 225 jobs.The site will be shut completely in late 2003.

Syngenta was formed when Zeneca, the pharmaceutical and agricultural arm of ICI, merged with Novartis, a Swedish chemical firm, in November last year.

At that time it announced that it would have to save £525m in costs.

All 225 jobs from the manufacturing department will be lost but 87 jobs from the site's technical centre will be transferred to other locations, mainly to one of the firm's sites in Berkshire.

Dr Andrew Thurston, the Yalding site manager said: "After careful analysis it was decided to close the Yalding site. We will be working with our colleagues to ensure a smooth transition for them to alternative work."

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