UP to 100 jobs are due to be created at a soft drinks manufacturer after plans to expand its plant were approved.

Cawingredients, which opened a £20m factory at Leeming Bar Industrial Estate, near Bedale, in 2010, has received Hambleton District Council approval to expand the buildings on its 17-acre site by almost 16,000sq m.

The move has been hailed by business leaders, who say the expansion will help cement the estate's reputation as a good location for food and drink sector firms, which include R&R Ice Cream, Vale of Mowbray, ABP UK Wessex and Yorkshire Provender.

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Cawingredients said the move will allow it to add two further production lines at the plant - one of the UK's most technically advanced soft drinks production facilities - and allow an increase on the 200 million bottles of soft drinks which passed through its warehouse last year.

The firm said it also aims to increase the degree of automation in the movements of bottles through the factory, which employs 105 staff and operates 24 hours a day, five days a week.

Councillors approved plans to create warehouses, a new mixing area, staff facilities, offices, and loading areas.

It is hoped building work will start in the autumn and for the new production lines in the existing factory to be in operation by the end of 2015.

A planning agent for the firm said Cawingredients business had grown exponentially since entrepreneur Andrew Cawthray launched the plant in 2010.

He said: "The company now wishes to embark on a programme of investment at the site to build on this growth and maintain Cawingredients at the forefront of the UK soft drinks industry.

"There are substantial contraints on space within the existing factory, and therefore to grow further the company has identified that it needs a large warehouse with robotic handling equipment in which crates of finished soft drinks can be stored before dispatch to customers.

"In addition the company requires a permanent building to replace the existing temporary mixing hall structure on site where mixed pallets of produce are assembled before storage and dispatch.

"One the proposal has been implemented this will free up space within the existing factory currently used for storage. This will enable Cawingredients to introduce additional production lines, increase the output of soft drinks from the factory and win new business from customers."

Hambleton District Council said the extension would assist in concentrating the commercial development of the food and drink sector on the estate.