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UK soft drinks producer Britvic to close Norwich plant

DBR Staff Writer Published 19 December 2017

Britvic is closing its Norwich site, which is co-owned with Unilever, affecting hundreds of jobs in the city.

The processes which are presently being undertaken at the plant including the production of Robinsons squash and Fruit Shoot brands, will be shifted to other production sites of Rugby, east London and Leeds.

The move is expected to bring significant productivity and efficiency savings for the company.

Britvic CEO Simon Litherland said: "This was not a proposal that we made lightly and we understand that the outcome of the collective consultation process will be upsetting of our colleagues in Norwich. It is sad and difficult time.”

The news was announced after two months of consultation between the company, its staff and union representatives, which have failed to generate positive outcome.

Unite, the UK’s largest trade union, slammed Britvic’s announcement, as stating that this is a ‘hammer blow’ for workers and the economy of Norwich.

Unite food and drink sector national officer Julia Long said: “This is a hammer blow for the dedicated workforce and their families, especially when it comes just before Christmas. It is bad news for the wider Norfolk economy, especially as we face challenging economic times in 2018.

“Unite will work tirelessly with all key stakeholders to see what can be done, even at this eleventh hour. 

“We have about 32 engineering and maintenance members at the Britvic site and we will be providing maximum support and assistance to them in the difficult days and weeks ahead.”

Image: Britvic House, the old Britvic headquarters in Chelmsford. Photo: Courtesy of Dev920/Wikipedia.org.