A £75 million investment to modernise the historic Cadbury chocolate making plant at Bournville was announced today.
Bosses say the boost will help ‘secure the site’s future for the next generation’.
It will involve four new state-of-the-art production lines at the 134-year-old factory, replacing outdated existing lines.
While no new jobs will be created immediately, the increased efficiency and extra capacity could lead to more shift workers being taken on.
Unite regional officer for food Joe Clarke said the investment by owner Mondelez International would secure the existing 1,200 manufacturing jobs at Bournville.
“It is good news. The plant and equipment at Bournville is outdated,” he said.
“The new investment will increase its competitiveness and have long term benefits for people at the site.”
Mondelez said the investment will reinforce Bournville’s position at the heart of the British chocolate industry.
It will also modernise and improve the site’s capability in manufacturing iconic assortment brands like Cadbury’s Roses and Heroes – the first significant new investment in this area for 30 years.
Securing the £75m investment depends on a successful conclusion to an employee consultation announced today. This will focus on improving capabilities, reducing costs and changes to ways of working that, combined with the investment, will help to close the competitiveness gap between Bournville and competitors as well as sister factories in Germany and Western Europe.
The plans build on an initial £33m investment announced in 2011. Neil Chapman, manufacturing director chocolate UK for Mondelez, said: “Bournville has a proud manufacturing heritage and we are committed to ensuring it continues. This investment would secure the site’s future for the next generation.” Cadbury, which dates back to 1824, was bought by Kraft Foods, now Mondelez, in 2010.