Bradford

Nestle factory closure plan 'body blow' for Castleford

Nestle logo
Image caption Nestle employs almost 7,000 people across 23 sites in the UK and Ireland

A trade union has criticised plans by food giant Nestle to close one of its West Yorkshire factories.

The site in Castleford, which employs 210 people, manufactures the company's After Eight and Toffee Crisp products.

Nestle wants to move that work to sites in Halifax, which is 26 miles away, and Fawdon, in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The Unite union has described the plan as a "body blow" for Castleford. Nestle said staff would be offered jobs at alternative sites.

The plan, which is subject to consultation with staff and unions, would see a phased transfer of production from December 2011 and the closure of the Castleford site in December 2012.

Unite said it hoped the Castleford staff would be move to Halifax.

John Mallinder, Unite's regional officer, said: "This is a body blow to Castleford as the Nestle plant is the last big manufacturing facility in the town, which has already lost its chemical factories and mining industry."

'Tough market'

Mr Mallinder said the union had scheduled a meeting on 16 December to decide which action members were going to take.

Nestle said 120 jobs would be available to Castleford staff at the Halifax and Fawdon sites, and there were plans to create more than 100 jobs at factories across the UK in the next two years.

A spokesman said: "The company therefore has alternative job opportunities for people to consider.

"If suitable roles are not available, Nestle will provide training and support for its people to find new jobs with other local employers."

David Rennie, managing director of Nestle Confectionery UK, said: "Nestle Confectionery is performing well in a very tough market but we have to continue to operate as efficiently as possible to remain competitive."

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