A £5 MILLION wafer-manufacturing line has been officially opened at York’s Nestlé factory, boosting production of the company’s world-famous KitKats.

Eight huge new and refurbished ovens will be used to make millions of the freshest possible wafer sheets each year for more than one billion KitKats made annually at the Haxby Road site.

Guests at yesterday’s inauguration ceremony included Paul Grimwood, chief executive of Nestlé UK; David Rennie, managing director of Nestlé Confectionery UK; Magdi Batato, group technical director; and Francois Pointet, factory manager.

Jas Scott de Martinville, production manager, said the new wafer line formed part of a three-year, £15 million investment programme.

He said: “Using state-of-the art technology and benefiting from all the latest know-how gathered through our product technology centre based in York and factories across the world, the aim with this investment is to ensure that we deliver the freshest wafer to our moulding plants.

“Employees in York should be really excited about this line, because it’s giving us an opportunity to shine and deliver world-class wafer quality and freshness.” The new wafer ovens will cut CO2 emissions and reduce gas consumption.

The investment is also being seen as proof of Nestlé’s long-term commitment to the city, with Mr Rennie saying earlier this year it was a vote of confidence in both the KitKat flagship brand and in York.

He said such an investment, coming on top of the £15 million spent previously on the new Aero plant and another £15 million on other projects around the site, was not made with the short term in mind.

Instead it was for the long-term future of manufacturing in York, where a total of 2,000 people were employed by Nestlé.