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.
The cider mill has been a fixture in Shepton Mallet for as long as anyone can remember - but exactly how did it all begin?
Workers at Shepton Mallet Cider learning about the planned closure of the site from the media is ‘disgraceful and discourteous' say union.