The owner of Alton Towers, Merlin, is set to take over control at Cadbury World after agreeing a 50-year-deal.

The confirmed deal means that Merlin Entertainments, Europe’s biggest theme park firm, will buy the operations and brand licences from Mondelez International, the historic chocolate brand’s owner.

Cadbury World will join Merlin’s large roster of UK attractions, alongside the likes of Madame Tussauds, Legoland and Sea Life.

Birmingham’s Cadbury World was opened at the chocolate maker’s Bourneville factory site in 1990 at the cost of around £6 million.

Dudley News: Cadbury World chocolatier, Donna Oluban, creates a chocolate pumpkin (Jacob King/PA)Cadbury World chocolatier, Donna Oluban, creates a chocolate pumpkin (Jacob King/PA)

The site is now visited by more than 600,000 people each year, making it one of the West Midlands’ most popular attractions.

In 2010, the site was acquired as part of Kraft’s controversial takeover of Cadbury before the US behemoth was forced to spin-off its European snacking arm as Mondelez.

Louise Stigant, UK managing director at Mondelez International, said: “Cadbury World is a truly unique experience and since it first opened its doors in 1990, has been enjoyed by millions of families from across the UK and overseas.

“We want to build on the strong foundations we’ve laid so that people can continue to enjoy Cadbury World for generations to come.

“As we approach Cadbury’s 200th anniversary, I’m really excited by this partnership.

“By working with Merlin Entertainments, we will be able to bring the history and heritage of the Cadbury brand and the joy of chocolate to more and more people.”

Merlin’s chief development officer Mark Fisher said: “As one of the world leaders in location-based entertainment we are delighted that Cadbury World is joining the already strong global network of Merlin attractions.

“We have long admired Cadbury as the nation’s favourite chocolate brand and have already successfully worked together across a range of experiential activities and retail spaces in our UK theme parks.

“We are now excited to continue the relationship and bring to life the sights, smells and fun experiences that chocolate lovers have come to know and love, but just with the additional helping of some Merlin magic.”