The new line is capable of producing 2,000 cans every minute and was developed as part of a wider £28m investment in the Sidcup facility, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2021.
The canning line will support the production of packaging for CCEP distributed soft drinks such as original Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Fanta, Dr Pepper, Sprite and Schweppes.
The opening, which took place on 16 October 2023, was attended by Old Bexley and Sidcup MP Louie French, CCEP general manager Stephen Moorhouse and VP for customer service and supply chain Javier Gandarias Sanchez. They were met by site operations director Karl Probert and employees working on the factory floor.
£120m invested in Sidcup factory since 2017
Speaking at the event, Moorhouse said that Coca-Cola has been “at the heart” of the community in Sidcup since the factory opened and was proud of the efforts made to embrace the “latest innovations in manufacturing”.
“We’ve invested almost £120million into the factory since 2017, helping us to support the local economy and accelerate our path to net zero,” Moorhouse added.
Meanwhile, French described the opportunity to visit the facility and see the operation in person as a “real pleasure”.
French continued: “The latest investment into a new canning line demonstrates CCEP’s commitment to the local community, both in terms of its investment into the site and its ongoing efforts to reduce plastic and use more sustainable packaging."
Everyone is Welcome
The Sidcup facility has committed to creating a more diverse workforce that embodies CCEP’s ‘Everyone is Welcome’ mantra. To encourage more people that traditionally have not seen manufacturing as a viable career path, its recruitment process is more focused on looking at skills and aptitude rather than qualifications, while it offers more flexible working hour arrangements.
It has also expanded its apprenticeship programme, with the Sidcup site taking on 21 young apprentices since the scheme was introduced.
“Our dedicated workforce of almost 400 play such an important role in continually evolving our manufacturing operations,” said site manager Probert.
“We’re proud to officially open our new high speed canning line today. It uses the latest manufacturing innovations to produce many of our brands that consumers know and love, from right here in Sidcup.”