A MAJOR employer in Ashby is to give the area an economic boost by creating 17 jobs.
KP Snacks, which supplies bagged savoury snacks manufactured at its site in Windy Ridge, off Smisby Road, Ashby, is offering 17 permanent jobs within its manufacturing team.
The growing business, which produces Hula Hoops, Skips, Space Raiders, Nik Naks and Choc Dips, typically turning out three million packets of Hula Hoops a day, will provide a welcome boost to the area.
The news comes just a month after reports suggested the production site could be bought by a Russian-British private equity firm in a potential £450 million auction.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, Pamplona Capital Management emerged as a favourite to buy the UK’s secondlargest branded snack company, which employs 1,500 staff, including 400 in Ashby.
KP Snacks is the junior partner within parent group United Biscuits, which is owned by private equity firms Blackstone and PAI.
United Biscuits is advertising the new positions which will operate under a rotating shift pattern from Monday to Friday – 6am to 2pm, 10pm to 6am and 2pm to 10pm.
Nick Bunker, former president of Kraft UK, took over as chief executive of KP Snacks in September and said at the time: “KP Snacks is an excellent organisation with great products and a strong team.
“I am delighted to be offered the chance to lead the snacks business which contains some of the best known household names in the category.
“I look forward to building on the company’s success.”
KP, which originally stood for Kenyon Produce, was founded in 1853 as Kenyon & Son as a producer of confectionery, jam and pickles. By 1891, the company had evolved to become Kenyon & Son and Craven Limited.
The company switched to producing roasted and salted hazelnuts in 1948, expanding to selling peanuts later.
These were originally produced for sale in cinemas.
In 1952, the company introduced Hercules Nuts and in 1953 the KP Nuts peanut brand was launched.
The company became part of United Biscuits in 1968.
KP Snacks is the number two manufacturer of bagged snacks in Britain and has four factories in the UK.
Anyone who would like to apply for one of the 17 jobs can do so by visiting www.tinyurl.com/ASHKP2