Hundreds of jobs threatened in Coca-Cola facility closures

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

There is to be a loss of 288 jobs
There is to be a loss of 288 jobs

Related tags: Coca-cola

Coca-Cola European Partners has announced plans to shut two UK sites with the loss of close to 300 jobs.

Under the plans, revealed by the drinks company today (January 31), it is proposing to close its manufacturing site in Milton Keynes, which produced around one-third of its canned output, and its distribution centre in Northampton.

If the proposals are implemented, it could result in the loss of 288 jobs, with the sites closing in 2019.

The company said it believed the proposed changes were necessary as they would provide significant productivity improvements and create greater efficiency across its manufacturing and distribution operations.

Milton Keynes

In 2015, Coca-Cola told Food Manufacture​ that the Milton Keynes site was the head of its growth portfolio, producing a third of Great Britain’s canned output. This included energy drink Monster, the now-defunct Coca-Cola Life and Capri-Sun.

The site operated nine lines in total, producing Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero, Diet Coke, Dr Pepper, Lilt, Fanta, Appletiser, 5Alive and Relentless. There were also two canning lines, two bag-in-box lines and five Capri-Sun pouch lines. It was the only site that operated 24-hours a day.

The site has been manufacturing for more than 40 years, with many of the lines being more than 20 years old. At the time there was some talk about investing in new lines, but there was a focus on making the plant more efficient. 

Transfer production

It revealed it was planning to transfer production and warehousing to other sites across the country.

As part of this move, the company expected to create 121 additional roles across its manufacturing and distribution networks, which would provide potential redeployment opportunities.

A statement said: “We know today’s news will be upsetting for our people at these sites, and our immediate priority is to support them throughout the consultation process.

“We are proud of our long-standing links with both towns and have not made these proposals lightly.”

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