Hundreds of jobs at risk at North East factory as Nestlé announces site closure

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Confectionery giant Nestlé is to close one of its factories in North East England, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

It was announced on Wednesday, April 28 that the firm intends to shut its factory in Fawdon, Newcastle upon Tyne, as part of changes to its confectionery manufacturing process.

The proposals put 573 roles at risk.

The Fawdon closure is proposed for the end of 2023. It’s reported that around 475 jobs will go at the factory, with a further 98 job cuts expected in York.

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Nestle UK has announced changes to adapt its confectionery manufacturing. Picture: Nestle UK.Nestle UK has announced changes to adapt its confectionery manufacturing. Picture: Nestle UK.
Nestle UK has announced changes to adapt its confectionery manufacturing. Picture: Nestle UK.

The company also intends to invest £29.4million in its York and Halifax factories, which it says make some of the firm’s biggest brands.

A Nestlé statement said: “Nestlé Confectionery has an ambitious business strategy in the UK and these proposals are intended to support our long-term success in an increasingly competitive category.

“The proposed changes would create a more efficient manufacturing footprint and, in turn, allow greater strategic investment in Nestlé’s biggest confectionery brands.

“We have chosen to announce these proposals as early as possible to provide the maximum time for consultation with our colleagues and trade unions.

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“We will make sure those affected are properly supported throughout this consultation process.”

The proposals would see production at Fawdon move to other existing factories across the UK and Europe, with the company aiming to create a “higher volume of products overall while operating a smaller number of factories” in future.

The York factory would see £20.2million of investment for modernisation work and to increase prodution, while £9.2million would be invested at Halifax to equip the factory to take on the largest portion of Fawdon’s current production.

The statement continued to explain that the Fawdon factory currently produces a number of smaller, low-growth brands for Nestlé Confectionery, and that the proposed changes will help keep the business “competitive” in the long term.

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Affected employees will be supported throughout the process, the company said, with all parties invited to take part in discussions regarding the proposals.

Nestlé’s statement added: “We do not underestimate the impact that the closure of Fawdon factory would have on the local area and, as part of the consultation, we want to work with the local community to find ways that we can support the area and our employees if these proposals were to go ahead.”

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