Coca-Cola pledges £14m to Northumberland operations

Posted On: 
19th August 2016

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has pledged £14 million to its Northumberland operations.

Ian Lavery MP met with Leendert den Hollander, Vice President and General Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners GB during his visit to the manufacturer’s Morpeth site to discuss its commitment to local investment in Northumberland
Credit: 
David Charlton photography

Local MP Ian Lavery visited the site to mark the investment and was shown part of the latest £14 million injection into local operations which includes a new high speed, fully automated water-processing and bottling line.

The new line will more than double the site’s existing production capabilities from 18,200 bottles to 56,000 bottles per hour, which equates to over four million cases of water a year – enough bottles to fill 100 Olympic sized swimming pools.

Joined by Leendert den Hollander, Vice President and General Manager of Coca-Cola European Partners, Steve Adams, Director of Supply Chain Operations and Jane Buckley, Operations Director at Morpeth, Mr Lavery also had the opportunity to speak with several members of local staff and hear about the factory’s history and role as CCEP’s sole spring water production facility in Great Britain.

CCEP’s Morpeth site is the only source of Schweppes Abbey Well Spring Water - the official water of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games - which is bottled at source using spring water from a natural underground aquifer on site. Morpeth is also the sole site in GB to produce glacéau smartwater which launched in 2014. This also uses local spring water which is then vapour distilled before electrolytes are added to give smartwater its crisp, clean taste. The latest site investment will also support production of a new sport cap format for the glacéau smartwater brand which is worth £21.9m.

Ms Buckley said: “At CCEP we are dedicated to supporting local manufacturing across the country and this investment in new equipment and production technology for Schweppes Abbey Well and glacéau smartwater is an exciting milestone for our Morpeth operations. We have a proud history here at Morpeth of producing high quality water for consumers across Great Britain and are pleased to have welcomed Ian Lavery MP to see first-hand the world class on-site innovation which this most recent investment supports.”

Mr Lavery said: “It was fantastic to see the results of investment in the Morpeth site. Our community, and indeed the country, needs to see more high quality jobs in manufacturing like those in Morpeth. I’m sure that this site has a bright future supporting employment in Wansbeck.”

“I’m also glad to have had the opportunity to talk to employees at all levels. The investment here will be good news for workers, for Morpeth and for all of Wansbeck.”