A SNACKS manufacturer which is home to some of the nation’s most-loved brands has launched a new £6m production facility – with the help of Pom-Bear.

KP Snacks, which has a factory in Billingham, near Stockton, opened a new pellet production facility to help manufacture some of its most well-known brands including McCoy’s, Pom-Bear, Discos and Hula Hoops.

The pellets manufactured on two lines in the new facility will be used to make Pom-Bear and Hula Hoops products.

The pellets that are manufactured are used as the ingredients to make the products. They are formed into the shapes of the product, such as a bear or a hoop, and then cooked and turned into the finished product.

The Northern Echo:

The plant in Billingham is the largest of KP Snacks’ manufacturing sites. It employs 750 people, including 25 new roles which have been created in the pellet plant.

To mark the occasion, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen opened the new 2,300sq meters extension to the factory today.

Lee Appleby, factory general manager, said: “The opening of our new facility comes at a great time as Teesside is celebrating 50 years of production in 2019.

"We are passionate about employing local people and we have generations of families here at the site.

"We invited our recently-retired colleague, Sue Devlin back to cut the ribbon as we launched the new plant, in celebration of the 41 years’ service she has given our site.

"I am proud to be leading KP Teesside during this exciting time of investment and growth”.

The business has its roots way back in the 19th century with a company called Kenyon Produce – hence KP was formed. From small beginnings trading in various foods, the company turned its hand to crisps in the 1940s.

Building on that heritage, KP Snacks today is now the UK’s second largest snack manufacturer, with six manufacturing sites around the country and our headquarters in Slough, Berkshire.

The Northern Echo:

Mr Houchen added: “KP is another example of a major household name that is thriving in the Tees Valley. Its products are loved up and down the UK and across the world, and this expansion shows they have no plans to slow down.

“If the fact we’re home to the biggest KP plant isn’t enough, this demonstrates a further commitment to our region, our residents and our supply chains, bringing with it even more jobs for local people.

"Congratulations on reaching 50 years of production in the area – here’s to 50 more.”