Cadbury: £75 Million To Be Invested At Bournville

23 January 2014, 16:12 | Updated: 23 January 2014, 16:20

The owner of Birmingham based Cadbury's chocolate is set to invest around £75 million to upgrade and modernise facilities.

Mondelez International said the new investment for the Bournville site will secure the next generation of chocolate manufacturing at the site.

The company said it was the first significant investment in the plant for 30 years, and will include replacing out-of-date production lines and opening new ones.

Chicago-based Mondelez said securing the investment depended on a successful conclusion to consultations with employees.

''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 its competitors as well as sister factories in Germany and western Europe,'' said a statement.

Consultations will centre on improving competitiveness, working more flexibly and investing in training.

Neil Chapman, manufacturing director of Chocolate UK for Mondelez International, said: ''Bournville has a proud manufacturing heritage and we are committed to ensuring it continues and becomes a world-class manufacturing site. This investment would secure the site's future for the next generation.

''The competitiveness gap we have identified means we are already missing out on important opportunities to grow. Through our consultation, we want to hear as many ideas as possible from our employees on how, alongside our #75 million investment, we achieve improvements that boost competitiveness, thereby securing the next generation of manufacturing at Bournville.''

Maurizio Brusadelli, president of the UK and Ireland operation at Mondelez International, said: ''This substantial investment in Bournville manufacturing will strengthen the competitive advantage of the facility on an international level, and will deliver a strong platform for developing our people and skills for the future. It will also contribute to the company's strategic goals of driving growth and improving margins.''

Around 1.2 million Cadbury Creme Eggs, 5.5 million blocks of chocolate, 400 million Dairy Milk Buttons, more than a million Wispa bars and 10 million chocolates such as Cadbury Roses and Heroes are made in Bournville every day.

The Bournville site opened in 1879 after George and Richard Cadbury moved manufacturing from the centre of Birmingham.

Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate bar was first produced at the plant in 1905, with the first cream-filled egg in 1923.

Since the acquisition of Cadbury in 2010 by Kraft Foods (now Mondelez International), the company said more than #130 million has been invested in its UK operations.

Bournville is home to the company's Global Centre of Excellence for Chocolate research and development site, so every new chocolate product created by the company anywhere in the world starts life at the Midlands plant.

The factory employs around 960 workers.

Tim Pile, president of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, said: ''This is a seminal moment for Bournville. Like other parts of British manufacturing there is a productivity gap in Bournville that needs closing in order for Bournville to compete with the best in the world.''