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Hope for Shepton cider mill as hundreds offered jobs

There's hope that some of the 127 workers due to be made redundant at the Shepton Mallet Cider Mill will be offered jobs by the Brothers cider firm.

The factory first started production in 1953. Credit: ITV News

C and C, the Irish owners of the mill, are closing the plant but today announced Brothers has bought a new bottling factory.

The sale includes the land and the buildings housing the bottling line which are located on Kilver Street across the road from the principal buildings of the Cidery. The Krones bottling line has capacity to produce 1.5 million bottles a day.

It says it's struggling to keep up with demand for its flavoured ciders and is expanding operations in Shepton but it'll be at least three months before it will have enough equipment to begin operations on the Kilver Street site.

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Is this Bob the weather man's smallest fan?

9-month-old Eliza claps when she see's Bob on the TV. Credit: Wendy Newton

Meet Eliza. At 9 months old she's one of our youngest Westcountry viewers, but she's particularly a big fan of our weather presenter, Bob Crampton.

Eliza's mum Wendy sent in the photo of her daughter who "loves seeing Bob doing the weather in the evenings" and claps every time he comes on.

But Eliza from Shepton Mallet also happens to get "very grumpy" if Bob happens to not be doing the weather that day.

Wendy says it makes her smile every time.

Are there any other little fans out there? Get in touch westcountry@itv.com

Unions criticise closing cider factory

Union representatives say workers at a Somerset cider factory have been treated disgracefully after they found out they would be losing their jobs when they read it in a newspaper.

The Shepton Mallet Cider Mill will stop drink production in April, leaving just a skeleton staff to run the apple pulping operation. Production at the Mill, which makes brands such as Blackthorn and Olde English, is being switched to Ireland.

The factory has been producing cider since 1770, and it's closure will mean the loss of up to 120 jobs.

"It is disgraceful and Dickensian that this dedicated and loyal workforce should hear of the closure through the media.

There has been more than 240 years of cider production at Shepton Mallet at a workplace that is synonymous with historic cider production in the south west - and now this is coming to an end.

This is a grievous blow to the workforce, their families, the town and the Somerset economy."

– STEVE PREDDY, UNITE REGIONAL COORDINATING OFFICER

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Somerset cider factory to axe 120 jobs

A Somerset firm that's been producing cider since 1770, is set to close with the loss of up to 120 jobs.

Production at Shepton Mallet Cider , which makes brands such as Blackthorn and Olde English, is being switched to Ireland - though apple pulping with remain.

The parent company of the cider mill, the C&C Group, confirmed the move.

Production and packaging will be transferred on a phased basis from the facilities in Shepton Mallet to Ireland, where Clonmel will become the core manufacturing site.

The fruit milling operation at Shepton Mallet will not be impacted by the move, and the company say they will continue to source apples from local farmers. However the loss of 127 jobs from the Somerset site will be a blow to the region.

C&C Group announces that following a detailed review of its manufacturing and operational footprint, it intends to consolidate production from sites in Shepton Mallet (England) and Borrisoleigh (Ireland) into its manufacturing site in Clonmel, Tipperary.

Under the proposal, production and packaging will be transferred on a phased basis from the facilities in Shepton Mallet and Borrisoleigh. Consequently, Clonmel will become the core manufacturing site for bothBulmers and Magners cider, Tipperary Water and our range of niche premium beers and ciders. The Wellpark Brewery in Glasgow is unaffected by the proposal. In support of the proposal, the Group will invest in excess of €10 million in enhancing packaging and logistics capability in Clonmel creating 80 additional roles.

The fruit milling operation at Shepton Mallet is not impacted by the proposal and C&C will continue to source apples on a long-term basis from local farmers. Equally, Borrisoleigh will remain as a key transport hub and both logistics and warehousing operations will be maintained in the town.

Regrettably, net roles lost across the operational network is estimated at 180 of which 127 are in the UK and 54 in Ireland. This has been a difficult decision for the Group and it is sad that the consolidation of production at the Clonmel site is the only viable option to maintain long term competitiveness.

– C&C Group

Jobs under threat amid reports cider factory is to close

The cider mill at Shepton Mallet is reportedly being moved to Ireland Credit: ITV News
The cider factory has not officially confirmed the closure plans Credit: ITV News

There's concern for the future of 120 jobs at a cider factory in Somerset.

Production at Shepton Mallet Cider Mill has been under review for more than a year. Now there are reports parent company C&C wants to move cider production its plant in Ireland.

The company has declined to comment.

Campaigners help save groundsman with learning difficulties from redundancy

Daniel White has been doing his job for nearly 30 years. Credit: ITV West Country

A Somerset groundsman with learning difficulties who was threatened with redundancy has been told he can keep his job of 30 years.

15,000 people signed a online petition in support of Daniel White - who has worked in Collett Park in Shepton Mallet for nearly three decades.

A new company, Landscape Group, took control of the council's contract two years ago, and wanted staff to work across all the sites - something Mr White wouldn't have been able to do safely.

Daniel White has worked at the park for nearly 30 years. Credit: ITV West Country
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