Terry's plans to close historic York factory

The chocolate company Terry's is to close its UK factory in York with the loss of 316 jobs ­ ending more than 100 years of its chocolate manufacture in the area.

Kraft Foods International, which owns the famous producer of the Chocolate Orange and All Gold brands, is transferring production to its factories in Sweden, Belgium, Poland and Slovakia. John Pollock, the director of the plant, said: "The confectionery market continues to be highly competitive. We have no choice but to continue improving our cost structure if we are to be able to invest in growing our brands."

The site has been making chocolate confectionery since 1926 and produces 20,000 tonnes of chocolate a year. But the history of Terry's in the UK goes back to 1767 with the founding of confectioners Bayldon and Berry, into which Joseph Terry later married. His first chocolate factory was built in York in 1886.

Unions said they would fight the closure, which will take place late next year with the loss of all 316 jobs. Malcolm Bushby at Amicus said: "The company has chosen to close this site over those abroad as we have weaker employment laws here in the UK."

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