The independent bottler of Coca-Cola say that the line will be capable of producing 2,000 cans per minute and provide additional capabilities for CCEP’s light-weight 330ml cans.
Energy, water and CO2 consumption will also be minimised with the help of advanced technologies integrated into the line, including air rising capabilities, dry lubrication on conveyors and an auto-sleep function on motors.
The new canning line will also see 28 new roles opening up and additional training will be provided to upskill the already 500-strong workforce.
Alongside the new canning line, the £31m investment will also go towards infrastructure upgrades to optimise the factory for production and future innovations. This includes the construction and fit of a new raw materials storage warehouse, additional utilities storage and the expansion of other facilities at the Wakefield site.
Since 2017, the site has seen £118m in investment and this next move marks another step in supporting its sustainability action plan, ‘This is Forward’.
“We’re committed to developing our sites to keep at the forefront of innovation, ensuring we can continue to deliver drinks to our customers and to consumers in a sustainable way. This latest investment underscores our commitment to our Wakefield site and the 500 colleagues who work here, from our apprentices to our longest-serving employees,” said Vanessa Smith, director of supply chain operations at CCEP.
The Wakefield site is also focused on attracting more diversity into the business’ supply chain as part of its ‘Everyone is Welcome’ ethos. This includes encouraging more women into manufacturing.
In light of this, the bottler has opened up multiple vacancies which will also include roles for the new line at the site, specifically for those with little or no experience of working in manufacturing.
“As well as innovating our production capabilities, we’re committed to recruiting more diversely to reflect the communities we operate in, including bringing on more women and others into manufacturing, logistics and distribution roles. We’re shifting hiring processes to focus on skills and aptitude rather than just historical qualifications, for example, and are offering more flexible working options to better suit a range of lifestyles,” added Smith.
Commenting on the news, MP Dame Andrea Jenkyns said: “I am delighted to see Coca-Cola's substantial investment of £31 million in the Wakefield plant. This demonstrates their unwavering confidence in the local economy and reaffirms their commitment to growth and job creation. With new jobs on the horizon, this investment not only strengthens the plant's position as the largest in Europe but also bolsters the region's economic vitality. We applaud Coca-Cola for their vision and dedication to our community's prosperity."