NESTLE is set to axe almost 100 jobs at its York factory, while simultaneously investing more than £20 million in its KitKat production lines.

The confectionery giant is also proposing to close another of its factories in 2023, at Fawdon in the north-east, with another 470 jobs at risk.

The company is proposing to shed 98 roles at the factory in Haxby Road, where 665 are currently employed.

A spokeswoman said the company 'very much regretted' the uncertainty the announcement would cause employees and their families, but Nestlé had an' ambitious business strategy' in the UK and the proposals were intended to support its long-term success in an increasingly competitive category.

"The proposed changes would create a more efficient manufacturing footprint and, in turn, allow greater strategic investment in Nestlé’s biggest confectionery brands," she said.

"We believe these proposals would strengthen the UK’s position as a critically important hub for Nestlé Confectionery and home to the expert manufacture of many of our most popular brands, including KitKat, Aero and Quality Street.

"We have chosen to announce these proposals as early as possible to provide the maximum time for consultation with our colleagues and trade unions."

She said a £20.2 million investment in York would modernise and increase production of KitKat in the city where the brand was first created in 1935.

A further £9.2 million would be invested at Halifax to help equip the factory to take on the largest portion of Fawdon’s current production.

She said the Fawdon factory was home to many smaller, low-growth brands and had a diverse and complex mix of production techniques.

"In contrast, our factories at York and Halifax have clearer specialisms and manufacture some of Nestlé’s biggest brands.

"If these proposals go ahead, we would expect, in future, to be manufacturing a higher volume of products overall while operating a smaller number of factories."

She said York was the 'proud home' of the confectionery business where Nestlé had invested more than half-a-billion pounds over the last three decades, and the site’s main office building, Nestlé House, was currently undergoing a £9million refurbishment.

"York is also the base for Nestlé Confectionery’s global R&D centre which develops products for markets all over the world. A new manufacturing line was added to the centre in 2020 as part of a £4million investment.

"We believe that the business case behind these proposed changes is compelling and, ultimately, the best way to keep our business competitive in the long term.

"Nevertheless, we very much regret the uncertainty this announcement will cause our people and their families and we want to make sure they are supported throughout this process.

"There is now the time and the space for all parties to engage in a constructive consultation around today’s proposals and we welcome those discussions."