40 redundancies confirmed at Shepton cider factory

The Shepton Mallet Cider Mill is moving production to Ireland Credit: ITV News

A cider factor in Somerset has announced the first 40 redundancies as it moves to stop drink production.

The Shepton Mallet Cider Mill, which makes brands such as Blackthorn and Olde English, is moving production to Ireland - leaving just a scaled-down staff to run the apple pulping operation.

120 employees were put on notice last month when the Dublin-based C&C group announced it was proposing to close the mill.

Unite said the announcement of the first 40 redundancies is "very sad, but not unexpected news"

The employees and their families are devastated, as you would expect. But it is also a grim day for the town of Shepton Mallet and its historic and proud links to the art of cider making, stretching back to 1770.

Steve Preddy, Unite regional coordinating officer

The Union wants management to accelerate their efforts to find a buyer for the site.

“Any such sale would be greatly assisted if the company agreed to sell its well-known brands, such as Blackthorn and Olde English, as well as the site itself.

“The brands and the site would make a very attractive package for a potential buyer at this already profitable site with an enthusiastic and dedicated workforce."