Nestle has confirmed that it plans to expand an R&D site in the UK city of York.

The Swiss food giant has earmarked over GBP1m (US$1.6m) of investment into its product technology centre in York, a facility that is the company's global R&D site for confectionery.

The Kit Kat maker has asked local officials to study the impact that extending the site could have on the local environment. Nestle would then plan to submit a planning application.

A spokesman for Nestle UK confirmed the plans but declined to comment further.

In December, Nestle opened a new wafer manufacturing line at its Kit Kat manufacturing facility in York, the first phase of a revamp of the site.

A week earlier, however, the company announced that it planned to close a confectionery production plant in the UK.

The closure of the facility in Castleford is part of plans to merge the manufacturing of Nestle's seasonal products into one site in the country.

Under the plans, the Castleford site would close in 2012 and production would switch to two other sites in the UK and one in Germany.

Nestle employs 210 staff at Castleford and said the transfer of production to the two UK sites in Halifax and Fawdon would create 120 jobs. The company said it also planned to create over 100 new posts at its confectionery sites in the next two years.