Nestlé slashes 600 jobs and announces plans to shut UK factory

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Chocolate giant Nestlé has announced post-Covid plans to close a UK-based factory, putting almost 600 jobs at risk, the company said.

The company, which produces the likes of Kit Kat and Smarties, said it aims to close its Newcastle upon Tyne factory by the end of 2023.

It will then invest £29million into its other UK-based sites in York and Halifax, switching some production to Europe.

Sadly, the move puts almost 600 workers at risk of losing their job, the company announced on Wednesday April 28.

Nestlé said it hopes the changes will create a "more efficient manufacturing footprint" within the company.

In a statement, Nestlé said: "Our Fawdon factory is home to many smaller, low-growth brands and maintains a diverse and complex mix of production techniques. In contrast, our factories at York and Halifax have clearer specialisms and manufacture some of Nestlé’s biggest brands.

"The decision to propose Fawdon’s closure follows significant investment and a sustained effort by the factory team to reduce that complexity and introduce new products in recent years. The skilled and dedicated team at Fawdon have worked tirelessly to deliver those changes and these proposals are absolutely no reflection on their efforts.

"If these proposals go ahead, we would expect, in future, to be manufacturing a higher volume of products overall while operating a smaller number of factories.

"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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Nestlé said it made the announcement in time to allow for possible consultation with workers and unions.

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