Crisp factory plans a shake-up of its North-East set-up

editorial image

A SNACKS factory in the Tees Valley could be in line for a major boost if management go-ahead with a proposed re-structure in the North-East.

KP Snacks have confirmed that its Consett plant in County Durham could close under proposals to “develop a sustainable and competitive manufacturing operation”.

That would lead to the plant on the Cowpen Industrial Estate in Billingham expanding its operations. It is already the biggest that KP has in the region with 689 staff.

The Billingham factory makes products such as Rosters and McCoys snacks.

The changes would mean production from Consett partially transferring to the Billingham site.

KP Snacks chief executive Nick Bunker said: “KP Snacks can confirm that we have informed our colleagues at our Consett and Corby factories that, regrettably, in order to develop a sustainable and competitive manufacturing operation, we are proposing to close the sites and to transfer the production to other sites in our network.

“We operate in an increasingly competitive market and need to focus on our cost base in order to develop a sustainable business.”

He said the Corby plant was restricted in its capacity and “has been for some time.”

He said the integration of KP Snacks and Intersnack UK to form a larger UK business meant it would be cost-efficient to expand the Billingham business at a time when it was developing its Pom-Bear crisp line.

He added: “In addition, after many years of working hard to try and grow our Consett volume, and despite the growth of Phileas Fogg, the under-utilisation of the site has created an unsustainable situation.”

Mr Bunker said the firm was “committed to keeping a manufacturing base and maintaining as many jobs as we can in the UK and we are working to ensure we do this in the most effective way”

He said the changes were “only proposals at this stage and are subject to the appropriate consultation with our colleagues.”