ENVIRONMENT Minister David Heath will today open Nestlé’s new £7 million research and development centre in York.

The Product Technology Centre, which is the company’s global research and development site, where scientists and technicians work to improve Nestlé products and equipment, initially opened in 1991.

The expansion will result in 35 new jobs on top of the 170 existing staff, which are mainly from the UK, as well as employees from around the world who attend specifically for expert training in confectionery manufacture.

Mr Heath will also announce Defra’s £490,000 investment from the Rural Development Programme for England in a £3 million new egg-processing facility near Knaresborough, being built by Chippindale.

The public/private-sector project is expected to create up to 20 jobs and protect 40 more over the next three years, providing job security for the 28 local egg farmers that already supply the egg company and increase demand from other farms in the area.

Chippindale, an 80-year-old family-run business, hopes the investment in the new plant will enable it to join Nestlé in the global market by opening up new export opportunities.

Mr Heath said: “The aspiration shown by these Yorkshire businesses is exactly what will get Britain on the rise again, growing our economy, creating jobs and competing in the global race.

“Yorkshire is a great place to do business and home to some really enterprising people. I want to do all I can to make it easier for them to thrive.

“Nestlé is helping the Government to identify and overcome the challenges businesses face and we are giving thousands of businesses like Chippindale the support they need to grow.”

Professor Stefan Palzer, managing director of Nestlé’s global Product Technology Centre for confectionery in York, said: “The newly extended Nestlé PTC further strengthens our research and development capabilities for confectionery worldwide.

“We are delighted to welcome the Minister today to show how after 150 years since Rowntree’s was created, the city remains a global centre for confectionery.”