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Last Updated: Friday, 30 September 2005, 05:53 GMT 06:53 UK
End of era as Terry's site closes
Terry's factory clock tower
Time has finally run out for the famous Terry's factory
More than a century of chocolate making in York ends on Friday with the closure of the city's famous Terry's factory.

The final shift clocks off at midday when the gates to the Bishopthorpe Road site will be locked for good.

Terry's, which has been making chocolate in York since 1886, moved to its present site in 1926.

But owner Kraft Foods has decided to switch production of Terry's All Gold and Chocolate Oranges from Yorkshire to Sweden, Poland and Slovakia.

Jonathan Horrell, corporate affairs manager for Kraft Foods (UK), said: "This is a very sad day indeed for everybody who has worked here.

"The last 316 employees have been leaving over the last 18 months as we wind down production.

Terry's of York
1767 - Confectioners Bayldon and Berry founded
1823 - Terry's name first appears when Joseph Terry becomes a partner
1886 - Joseph Terry Jnr builds chocolate factory in Clementhorpe, York
1923 - Frank and Noel Terry join the business and launch the Chocolate Orange
1926 - Production moves to Bishopthorpe Road factory
1939 - During the Second World War the factory makes aeroplane propellers
1975 -Terry's of York acquired by United Biscuits.
1993 - Kraft General Foods buys Terry's Group from United Biscuits and amalgamates it with Jacobs Suchard to create Terry's Suchard
2004 - Kraft announces closure of Terry's site

"When people go there is enormous sadness about the breaking of that link with the factory.

"Many of them have worked here all their careers and many of their parents and grandparents worked here before them."

He praised their professionalism which had allowed Terry's to maintain high-quality production right up to the end.

"Unfortunately the decline in export volumes over recent years means the underlying costs of producing here are too high.

"It is also a very big site with some old historic buildings which are very expensive to manage."

However, those very buildings are likely be the key to a new future for the site, according to a report recently discussed by the City of York Council.

One option being considered is to transform the factory into a distinctive, high quality hotel exploiting links to the neighbouring racecourse and potential for conferences and exhibitions.

Other proposals could include a science and high-tech business park.

Bill Woolley, the council's acting director of environment and development services, said in the report: "The redevelopment of this site represents a major chance for the York economy and has the potential to build on York's international reputation as a tourism destination."




SEE ALSO:
Terry's factory to close in 2005
22 Jun 04 |  North Yorkshire
Terry's closure 'will hit city'
20 Apr 04 |  North Yorkshire
Terry's plans to close York site
19 Apr 04 |  North Yorkshire


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