Chemical firm Syngenta has erected a 25ft Christmas tree as the company begins the countdown to its centenary year.

And it’s a festive boost after production problems caused by a fire.

The firm, which celebrates the big anniversary in 2016, has put up a Norwegian spruce at the site entrance in Leeds Road, Huddersfield.

The lights were switched on by process operator Martin England and apprentice Daniel Barker.

Martin suggested the firm should have a tree and was delighted when bosses took him up on the idea – and asked him to flick the switch.

“We run the factory all over Christmas and I felt staff needed something to feel a bit more festive when they came to work during the Christmas and New Year period,” said Martin. “It will also brighten up anyone’s day who is passing by on Leeds Road.

“With it being our centenary year in 2016, I suggested we get a Christmas tree back on the roundabout at our entrance and I am really pleased the company has made it happen.”

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Martin, who is working the night shift on Christmas Day, added: “We keep the site running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and we are used to covering the holidays.

“It’s not every year I have to work over the festive period but this year it’s my turn.”

The news comes as the agrochemicals firm battles to restore full production after a blaze almost two weeks ago.

A component failed putting the power plant out of action. Though power was quickly restored the firm relies on high pressure steam for the manufacturing process and temporary boilers had to be installed.

A Syngenta spokesman said: “Since the incident, we had planned to have some production up and running by the end of this week and we are on plan to do that, however, we may not get to full capacity until the New Year.”

The fire resulted in smoke damage to the power plant’s electrical switch room which has had to be refurbished.