Confectionery giant makes Britain the centre of its R&D efforts

One of the biggest names in confectionery has announced that it will be moving its research and development operation to the UK.

Nestlé confirmed that this part of its business would make the move from Broc, in Switzerland, to York.

The city is obviously steeped in history when it comes to the industry; Rowntree – the British brand which was bought up by Nestlé some 30 years ago – was founded there in the mid-19th century.

A Nestlé spokesman said it had taken the decision to make the UK its main R&D base to improve the pace of innovation.

As of 1 May, the Product Technology Centre (PTC) for Confectionery, in Yorkshire, will take the lead on all R&D-related activities and will be the focus of operations for the firm’s scientists and engineers.

The PTC first opened its doors in 1991, just a few years after the original takeover. According to its website, it currently employs up to 200 people. It has yet to be confirmed if the number of staff will increase as a result of the announcement.

This week’s news is a big boost for the UK and will be particularly welcome following an operational restructure last year, which affected work at York and three other sites (Fawdon, Halifax and Girvan).

At the time, there was particular controversy over the decision to move production of the famous Blue Riband chocolate bar – which had been made in Britain for more than 80 years – to Poland.

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