Friday, August 1, 2014

News: Council goes all out to bag KP investment for Rotherham

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Rotherham Council is set to cost itself a packet in order to keep KP Nuts in Rotherham but in doing so will help to secure £16m of investment, safeguard 144 jobs and create 62 new jobs by 2016.

In December, the bosses at KP Snacks and Intersnack UK put forward firm proposals to make the investment to build a new facility in Rotherham, which it is proposed will produce all of KP's nuts volume in the future.

Rothbiz revealed in March that KP had purchased the 141,000 sq ft Hellaby 140 building as it plans to move production across the borough from Eastwood. KP Nuts celebrated its 60th year in Rotherham last year where it produces around 140 million packs of nuts each year. In 1968 it became part of United Biscuits before it was sold to German-headquarted multinational group, Intersnack, in 2012.

Now details of the council's support to KP have been outlined in a report to the cabinet that asks for further financial support to be approved.

The existing factory at Eastwood is no longer fit for purpose, and to capture the investment, KP have had to relocate their business to new premises.

Rotherham Investment and Development Office (RiDO), the regeneration arm of Rotherham Council, assisted KP with a Regional Growth Fund (RGF) bid to the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership fund and they were successful in securing £1.5m for the project. The fund secured money from the government and is used to unlock private sector investment in projects that create jobs.
Rotherham Council is also set to approve plans to offer KP business rates relief for the new property. The Hellaby site (pictured) has estimated rates of £198,825 payable per year, £85,073 higher than their existing building. The proposal is to hold rates payable for the new building at the same level as the old building for three years.

Local councils collect Non Domestic Rates (business rates) from the owners and occupiers of commercial properties on behalf of central Government. The Government introduced a business rates retention scheme from April 2013 aimed at providing a direct link between business rates growth and the amount of money councils have to spend on local people and local services. Under the new scheme, Rotherham Council is able to keep a proportion of the business rates revenue as well as a proportion of the revenue growth.

Due to European state aid rules, the council is set to cover a limited total of £161,290 of KP's business rates for the next three years.

Andrew Nettleton, business investment manager at RiDO, said: "The other Intersnack factory at Cambridge is much newer and could take on the extra production, plus there are other group factories in Holland and Germany that could also take on the production capacity of the Rotherham plant.

"Competition was extremely fierce within the group, and we were keen to see this long standing Rotherham company stay in the town and grow its business in the future.

"With Rotherham MBC support, KP will secure the investment from their parent company Intersnack, with the immediate results that 144 jobs here in Rotherham have been safeguarded.

"KP are investing in new machinery at Hellaby, and that will lead to a further 62 jobs being created over the next two years, and cementing the company here in Rotherham for the foreseeable future. Intersnack have already announced the closure of their Cambridge plant in the UK and moved its production to Rotherham."

KP Nuts website
RiDO website

Images: KP Nuts

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