Clearly Drinks creates jobs after factory expansion

By James Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Clearly Drinks has created 12 new jobs after expanding production. Mel Speding (left) and Mark Bell (Right)
Clearly Drinks has created 12 new jobs after expanding production. Mel Speding (left) and Mark Bell (Right)

Related tags: Bottle

Beverage manufacturer Clearly Drinks has created 12 new jobs, after expanding production at its factory in Sunderland.

Clearly has taken over a 1,951m2 ​building next to its site on Riverside Road, with plans to use the space for warehousing and a new production line.

The extension will help the company to meet demand for its bottled drinks from a growing number of UK and overseas customers. Its customers include retailers B&M, Heron Foods, Costco, Nisa and Poundworld.

Clearly is now looking to invest £1.5M in equipment, including a bottle blower to blow pre-forms, which will speed up production and help to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. Sunderland City Council’s business investment team is advising and supporting the investment.

‘Producing record numbers’

Mark Bell, operations director at Clearly Drinks, said: “This has been one of our busiest years – buying a new building to create a new production line and warehousing, digging the borehole to futureproof the company and producing record numbers of bottles for new and existing customers.

“Our first-rate workforce is hugely important to our success. It means we produce delicious drinks, and we can turn round new orders remarkably quickly. We pride ourselves on our flexibility, high standards and always putting the customer first.”

The number of bottles produced by the plant grew from 52M in 2015 to 69M bottles last year. Clearly expected to produce 75M bottles by the end of this year.

Sunderland City Council cabinet secretary Mel Speding congratulated Clearly on its recent success.

‘Commitment and passion’

“Clearly Drinks is a new name for a well-established, respected company,”​ said Speding. “The commitment and passion of its staff have won it loyal customers and record production levels this year.

“I’m delighted that Clearly Drinks’ success has led to more job opportunities and productivity in the city.”

Originally known as Villa Drinks and more recently as Contract Bottling, Clearly Drinks has operated from its site in Sunderland for more than 30 years. It is one of a small number of UK bottling companies that has its own spring on site – the Hadrian Well.

The company fills bottles with a range of flavoured and natural spring waters and soft drinks and produces more than 4,000 pallets of cordial, which is shipped out to Saudi Arabia each year in glass bottles as a premium product.

Meanwhile, biscuit manufacturer Phoenix Brands has invested £1.5M in a new factory​ in Wolverhampton, with plans to hire an additional 10 staff. 

Related topics: Drinks

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