Sweet giant Haribo has started work on a new multi-million pound factory near Normanton which will create almost 300 jobs.
Business secretary Vince Cable said the move would be a big boost to the economy when he visited the site of the proposed factory in Whitwood yesterday to view plans for the £92m project.
Work is expected to be completed by April 2015 and once fully operational, the plant will employ 286 people and produce 48,000 tonnes of treats a year.
Mr Cable said: “This will be a big boost to people in this area. It’s really good news and it’s extremely pleasing to see a firm expanding.
“We are beginning to see the economy recovering but it’s very important we continue to provide stable, long-term employment which this factory will.”
“I grew up in Yorkshire surrounded by the smell of the chocolate so, personally, to come to another confectionary factory is really pleasing.”
The company was awarded £6.4m from the government as part of the Regional Growth Fund in 2011 and a further construction 300 jobs are expected to be created at the site, off Whitwood Common Lane in Whitwood.
Herwig Vennekens, managing director of Haribo, said: “I think we definitely see this area as our home and an increase in demand has meant we need to expand.
“After two years of planning it’s great to finally to get to the stage where we are setting the foundations that support our plans for growth within the UK.”
The recruitment process for the new facility has already started, with 15 people joining the Haribo team.
Roles will vary, from machine operators through to management positions.