PLANS for home appliance manufacturer Whirlpool to restructure their operations could have a big impact on the 500 jobs at their Yate facility.

One of the world’s leading names in fridges, ovens and dryers, the company has said production at its site in Yate would be refocused to specialise on manufacturing dryers for the UK and Ireland.

The changes come as part of a broader project involving Whirlpool’s industrial footprint for dryers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), but would not begin until 2018.

While the company has not stated how many of the 500 jobs at the facility could be affected, a spokesman said that any consequence concerning potential redundancies for Whirlpool employees will be reviewed at a later date as the proposal progresses.

According to Whirlpool, a consultation with the representatives of employees has begun.

The spokesman said: “UK and Ireland consumers have different preferences to the rest of the EMEA region, and are better served with a local-for-local footprint approach.

“It will allow the plant to be more responsive to seasonal changes in demand in the UK and Ireland market, as there will be greater capacity for increased production in peak periods. This also means we can better serve our trade partners with improved inventory management in the UK.

“The Yate plant will remain a strategic and important part of Whirlpool’s production footprint in EMEA. The refocused production at Yate will not begin until 2018.”