Heineken is to pump £126M into UK cider and beer production as well as its pubs and bars estate.
This includes £50M in its Manchester brewery, safeguarding 240 jobs there, and £58M in its Hereford Bulmers and Strongbow cider plant, to modernise the facilities and expand the capacity at both sites.
At the Princess Parkway site in Manchester, Heineken is investing to increase brewing production by approximately 2M hectolitres a year and add a new kegging line for draught beer. The facility makes branded beers such as Foster’s and Kronenbourg 1664. The company expects to complete this work in the summer of 2015.
Prime minister David Cameron revealed the move as he opened the International Festival For Business at Liverpool today (June 9).
£58M in cider production
Meanwhile, Heineken announced at the beginning of April that it planned to invest £58M in its Hereford cider production plant as it shifted production there from its Universal Beverages Ledbury facility.
The brewery giant confirmed 97 jobs were under threat at Ledbury as a result of that move, although it said fruit milling operations would remain there. Work at Hereford is expected to finish in 2016.
The Hereford and Manchester investments would ensure that Heineken’s production facilities remained at the forefront of industry standards to help meet continued demand for its strong portfolio of ciders and beers, the company said.
Upgrading and modernising
Finally, it confirmed a further £18.5M would be invested in upgrading and modernising its Star Pubs & Bars estate across 2014, the biggest programme of capital expenditure the estate has ever received.
A sixth of the company’s 1,250 pubs are benefitting from the programme which includes 60 to 70 major refurbishments, with an average spend of £135,000, plus 100 external signage and redecoration schemes.
“These major investments are a clear demonstration of our long-term commitment to the UK,” said Heineken UK md David Forde. “Heineken is committed to the UK marketplace and investing in the right infrastructure to ensure that we can continue to delight our consumers day-in and day-out with fantastic cider and beer experiences.”