Salmond said: “The opening of this £4M bottling line facility at Wellpark is the latest development in a dynamic new chapter in the history of one of Scotland’s oldest and most successful companies.
‘"The winning combination of fresh investment, state-of-the-art production facilities and the revival of an export programme are taking the business and its well-loved brands into the 21st century.”
The project is part of ambitious growth plans for the firm by owner, C&C Group, a spokeswoman for Tennent Caledonian told FoodManufacture.co.uk.
Bold export programme
The drinks manufacturing group wants to grow the export of Tennent Caledonian brands to markets such as Ireland, Canada, Australia and Italy, after they were neglected under previous owner, A–B Inbev, claimed the spokeswoman.“Under C&C Group the business is in the process of reversing this strategy – with a bold and far reaching export programme,” she added.
The company will start to export Tennent’s Scotch Ale, Tennent’s 1885 Lager and Tennent’s Extra lager to Italy later this year. Tennent products were also launched in Australia and Canada last year.
In Ireland, Tennent’s Lager is now sold in over 12,000 pubs with further expansions planned, the spokeswoman said.
The new facility, set in Wellpark’s 2000m2 packaging hall, will increase Tennent Caledonian’s bottling capacity by up to 50,000 bottles per hour. It will be used across all Tennent brands as well as for contract business that the brewer hopes to attract from across the UK.
The brewery will bottle ciders for C&C Group sister brand, Magners.
It will also welcome contracts from microbrewers without bottling facilities of their own and larger companies that have over-stretched their bottling capacity, said the spokeswoman.
Scotland and overseas
Steven Annand, commercial md of Tennent Caledonian, said: “Our new bottling line here at Wellpark will underpin this growth story and enable us to introduce new products both here in Scotland and overseas.”
C&C Group, which bought the brewer from A–B Inbev in 2009 launched Caledonia Best last year as part of its emphasis on new product development.
The new bottling facility will employ seven people, including four new roles. Since 2009, about 50 jobs have been created at the brewery as part of its growth programme, she added.
Salmond officially opened the facility on March 30 after six months of construction.