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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

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

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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

Somerset handbag company criticised on human rights

Protestors in Bristol called on Mulberry to protect the rights of workers. Credit: ITV West Country

There has been a protest in Bristol today about how the handbag company Mulberry has treated workers in Turkey.

The company, based in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, is being criticised for failing to protect the rights of workers after reportedly sacking staff who had joined a union at its factory in Izmir. Mulberry say it is investigating.

Credit: ITV West Country
Credit: ITV West Country
Credit: ITV West Country

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Woman suffers sexual assault at supermarket tills

Police are appealing for the public's help to identify this man. Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

Police are appealing for the public’s help after a woman was sexually assaulted at the tills in Shepton Mallet.

They have released a CCTV image of a man who they believe may have information about the incident.

It happened inside the Tesco supermarket in Townsend Shopping Centre at around 11:15 am on Tuesday 30th June.

The man was described as wearing a black t-shirt and three quarter length trousers.

Day two of the Royal Bath and West Show

It's day two of the Royal Bath and West Show and with the sun still shining tens of thousands of people have spent the day at the site near Shepton Mallet.

Amongst them was the Environment Secretary Liz Truss who met with farmers to discuss the Government's pledges to help rural communities.

Victoria Davies reports

Royal Bath and West Show: what's in store for Day Two

500 traders are exhibiting at this year's Royal Bath and West Show. Credit: ITV News

Day two of the Royal Bath and West Show will see Environment Secretary Liz Truss talking to farmers about the government's promises to champion their industry.

They include getting a fair deal from supermarkets and a strategy to eradicate bovine TB within 25 years. We'll be speaking to her about what the South West's farmers and food producers can expect from the next five years.

Local produce is at the heart of the show. Credit: ITV News

There's also 500 traders exhibiting local produce, along with livestock competitions and food marquees - and thousands of visitors celebrating food, farming and country life.

Tune in to ITV News West Country at 6pm for the latest from Shepton Mallet, and catch up with all the highlights from day one here.

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