Shepton Mallet cider firm snaps up £6m bottling line

A bottling line Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The high-speed bottling line (example pictured) cost an estimated £6m, according to the Unite union

A cider-maker which is vacating a large mill in Somerset has sold part of its Shepton Mallet base to a rival.

Brothers Drinks has bought a high-speed bottling line off the Dublin-based C&C Group and says it is considering buying more of the site.

The facility can produce 1.5 million bottles a day and is located over the road from the main cider mill.

Some 120 jobs are under threat as the C&C Group looks to consolidate its production at one site in Ireland.

Billy Mason from C&C said: "We are pleased to have found a trade buyer for a part of the Shepton site and especially pleased that this will provide an opportunity for some C&C employees to join the Brothers team.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The cider mill in Shepton Mallet is owned by Irish cider-maker the C&C Group

According to the union Unite, the bottling line cost an estimated £6m and had never been used.

Jonathan Showering, director of Brothers Drinks, said it was too early to say how many jobs the new facility could create.

Last Friday, a Unite spokesman said the last batches of four cider brands - Blackthorn, Olde English, Addlestones and Natch - were being made.

The union has repeatedly called on the C&C Group to find a buyer for the site.

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