Nestlé fac­tory sold to a prop­erty de­vel­oper

Firm’s plans for 30-acre site re­mains a mys­tery

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Will Ack­er­mann will.ack­er­mann@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

THE Nestlé fac­tory in Hayes has been sold to a prop­erty de­vel­oper as it pre­pares to shut down with at least 85 re­dun­dan­cies.

SEGRO has bought the 30-acre site in Nes­tles Av­enue for an undis­closed sum.

A spokes­woman de­clined to com­ment on the firm’s plans for the plant, which has pro­duced Nescafé cof­fee for nearly a cen­tury.

Nestlé UK said 18 of the fac­tory’s 207 work­ers would re­main at the site while equip­ment is re­moved dur­ing the ‘de­com­mis­sion­ing­pro­cess’, which is ex­pected to take be­tween six and nine months.

Since July, another 44 have been trans­ferred to the company’s Tutbury fac­tory in Der­byshire, while four have gone to other Nestlé sites.

A spokes­woman said 41 had pre­vi­ously an­nounced their in­ten­tions to take early re­tire­ment, mean­ing up to 100 had been made re­dun­dant, most of whom left over the Christ­mas pe­riod.

The company an­nounced its plans to close the fac­tory in 2012 and has since added a £200mil­lion ex­ten­sion to its Tutbury fa­cil­ity.

A spokes­woman said: “The UK is one of the big­gest mar­kets for freezedried cof­fee and is key to Nestlé and we need a long-term sus­tain­able man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity that is fit for the fu­ture to pro­vide the flex­i­bil­ity in pro­duc­tion that the UK re­quires. Un­for­tu­nately, it be­came clear that it was im­pos­si­ble to com­pletely re­de­velop Hayes whilst main­tain­ing pro­duc­tion.”

A SEGRO spokes­woman said the firm would be in talks with Hilling­don Coun­cil to es­tab­lish a suit­able new lo­ca­tion for a memo­rial cur­rently housed inside the fac­tory, which hon­ours those em­ploy­ees who fought in the two world wars.

Hayes and Har­ling­ton MP John McDon­nell, who has cam­paigned on be­half of the fac­tory’s work­ers for four years, has ar­ranged to meet the new own­ers to dis­cuss how they can en­gage with the com­mu­nity.

He said that if the site is used for hous­ing, ad­e­quate sup­port­ing fa­cil­i­ties must be put in place.

The fac­tory opened in 1913 and was bought by Nestlé in 1916.

It be­gan Nescafé in 1939.

In its hey­day in the 1950s, the fac­tory em­ployed some 2,000 peo­ple. Many of those cur­rently work­ing there have done so for more than 25 years.

pro­duc­ing

n CHANGES IN STORE: (Right) The Nestlé plant in Hayes has been sold; (right) its art deco en­trance

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