Cadbury invests £4.5m in chocolate drinks

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Cadbury invests £4.5m in chocolate drinks

Related tags Cadbury dairy milk Chocolate

Cadbury has spent £4.5m installing new equipment to manufacture chocolate drinks in-house at its Chirk factory near Wrexham, while the company says its Somerdale site will be sold within months.

The confectionery giant also processes cocoa into cocoa liquor and cocoa butter on its Welsh site, for use in Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate.

A Cadbury spokesman told “I can confirm the investment … although it’s too early to go into detail around the specific plant.

“The investment is linked to our decision last year to bring the manufacture of hot chocolate drinks back into the Chirk factory.”

He added that he didn’t have any details as to whether the investment would create new jobs at the site.

Important investment

Susan Elan Jones, Labour MP for Clwyd South, said during a recent site visit that the investment was important for the future of the town.

"The Chirk factory is a very important part of the community. It was fascinating to see how the cocoa is processed for making into Cadbury Dairy Milk,"​ she said.

“It’s very encouraging to see new owners Kraft Foods making important investment into the site.”

The spokesman said that Kraft Foods was currently considering offers from developers to buy Cadbury’s now defunct Somerdale facility (pictured) in Keynsham.

“We are currently analysing the proposals received and are confident we will be in a position to announce the successful developer chosen within months,”​ he said.

The official Somerdale site sale brochure marketed the site and its many 1920s and 1930s buildings “for development for a number of uses”​,​with a mixed-use residential development one possibility.

‘Sad’ Somerdale loss

Around 600 residential units – with 20,000m2​ of employment space – could be provided, said sales agent BNP Paribas.

However, the new buyer will have to either relocate or retain the Fry Club (a sports and social clubhouse for local residents) on the site.

Commenting on a previous feature regarding the pending site sale, one reader wrote: “I wonder whether this means the factory buildings will be demolished and the extensive sports fields lost under housing development?

The reader praised the site’s architectural and environmental value. “It is a superb example of how a factory site can be designed and built to blend in with a rural setting,”​ he said.

“Having seen cricket being played on the lush green pitches, it would be a sad loss for it to be replaced by a featureless housing estate.”

Related topics Drinks Confectionery

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