Wednesday 28 April 2021 3:58 pm

Some 600 jobs at risk as Nestlé closes UK factory and moves some production to Europe

Nestlé plans to close its Fawdon factory near Newcastle, putting 573 jobs at risk in the process.

Under new proposals, the Swiss food and drinks conglomerate said products currently made at Fawdon would move to other plants in the UK and in continental Europe.

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If the plans go ahead, the Fawdon factory will close “towards the end of 2023,” it added.

Nestlé said it would ensure those affected would be “properly supported” throughout the process, and that it had announced the changes as early as possible to provide “maximum time for consultation” with colleagues and trade unions.

The decision to close Fawdon forms part of Nestlé’s larger plans for a £29.4m investment into its York and Halifax factories.

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The Fawdon factory is home to smaller, low-growth brands “and maintains a diverse and complex mix of production techniques.”

In contract, York and Halifax have “clearer specialisms” and manufacture some of Nestlé’s biggest brands, the Swiss conglomerate said.

Some £20.2m will be used to modernise the York factory and increase the production of KitKats, while £9.2m will be invested into Halifax, which will take on the largest portion of Fawdon’s current production.

“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,” Nestlé said.

“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,” it added.