The investment included the opening of a £24m canning production line at the factory, which will be dedicated to the manufacture of CCEP’s lightweight cans – ranging in size from 330ml to 400ml.
New technology employed in the line aimed to make production more sustainable – from projected energy savings through the use of automatic control of conveyors, to reducing water by air-rinsing cans.
A further £10m has been invested into CCEP Wakefield to install a process plant to regulate processes across all of the factory’s lines, which would help reduce water and energy usage.
The business has also allocated £15m to an existing canning line to replace the use of plastic shrink-wrap across multipacks of cans with 100% recyclable cardboard. The move was part of a wider initiative to end the use of plastic shrink-wrap on all of its multipacks of cans across Great Britain.
Steve Thorpe, interim director at CCEP Wakefield, said: “This recent investment demonstrates Coca-Cola European Partners’ long-term commitment to the Wakefield area and to manufacturing in Great Britain as a whole.
‘Investing in people’
“Investing in our people is of the upmost importance to us – helping to continually improve the quality, efficiency and sustainability of our operations, as well as ensuring we can continue to support the growth of our team of highly skilled and dedicated people.”
CCEP’s investment into Wakefield also marked the 30th anniversary of the site. Apprentice training manager John Steel, one of Wakefield’s longest-serving employees, met with Conservative MP for Morley and Outwood Andrea Jenkyns to discuss the changes at the factory over the past 30 years.
Commenting on the investment, Jenkyns added: “I welcome Coca-Cola European Partners’ commitment to supporting manufacturing in GB by investing £49m in its Wakefield operations. This is positive news for the local economy and a further boost for West Yorkshire.”