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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.

Last batch of cider made at mill

Shepton Mallet cider mill makes last batch Credit: ITV News

Production of iconic Somerset cider brands ceased production this week at the Shepton Mallet Cider Mill.

The Dublin-based C&C Group which owns the mill has now stopped the production of the Somerset ciders Addlestones, Blackthorn, Natch and Olde English. Production will now be at Clonmel in the Irish Republic.

The cider mill is due to close in the summer when production ceases and the pulped fruit is transported to Ireland – the first 40 redundancies have already been announced.


Mixed reaction to Chancellor's visit

The Chancellor has announced more money for Cathedral repairs and visited Wells Cathedral today.

George Osborne also toured a cider factory to see how a drop in cider duty will impact business.

But leading names in the tourism industry here in the West have criticised the government for not doing more to help them.

Our political reporter Robert Murphy has the story.

George Osborne visits cider factory

The Chancellor George Osborne has been visiting Somerset to announce more money for Cathedral repairs and also to capitalise on last week's announcement of a drop in cider duty.

But tourist attraction owners have told ITV News their campaign for a reduction in VAT has been ignored, putting jobs at risk.

Our political reporter Robert Murphy was with the Chancellor.

Campaign to cut tax on cider

The South West Taxpayers' Alliance is calling on the Chancellor to abolish the Duty escalator on cider. Credit: ITV News West Country

A campaign to cut cider tax is being launched on Friday.

The South West Taxpayers' Alliance is calling on the Chancellor to abolish the Duty escalator, where the price rises two percent above the rate of inflation every year.

A similar duty on beer was scrapped earlier this year.

The campaign is being backed by a number of MPs in the West Country where the cider industry has been doing so well in recent years.

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