Jobs: 'Body blow' to town as chocolate factory marked for closure

Proposals to close a chocolate factory employing 210 people in Castleford have been described as a "body blow" to the town.

Nestle announced cost-cutting plans to close the site in December 2012, when the production of After Eight mints will be moved from Castleford to Halifax and Toffee Crisp production to a factory near Newcastle.

The company said moving production would create 120 posts which Castleford workers could fill. Another 100 jobs were being created over the next two years.

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

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

The firm's managing director David Rennie said: "We are sharing this proposal with our employees in Castleford at the earliest opportunity. Our aim is to offer our people alternative jobs with Nestl and we hope that as many of them as possible will stay with the company."

Unite union spokesman John Mallinder 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."

Local Labour MP Yvette Cooper said: "This is big blow for Castleford and grim news for the workforce in the run-up to Christmas. It is particularly worrying that private sector jobs are being hit, when we know big job losses are also coming in the public sector."