Suffolk

Aspall owner unveils £10m upgrade plan at Suffolk factory site

Aspall ciders Image copyright Aspall
Image caption Aspall's American owners plan to invest up to £10m over the next three years

Cider maker Aspall has revealed the first details of a £10m expansion plan.

The upgrade to its site near Debenham, in Suffolk, will include a new processing building, weighbridge for vehicles and extra storage tanks.

Manager Dale Scott said the changes, being considered by councillors next week, would increase capacity, create jobs and reduce lorry traffic.

The 291-year-old company was sold by its founding family to US drinks firm Molson Coors last January for £40m.

Officers at Mid Suffolk Council have recommended that the planning application be approved when it goes before councillors next week, after concerns were raised over traffic levels, the suitability of the roads and the visual impact of the tanks and building work.

Image caption All Aspall production is carried out at Aspall Hall, near Debenham, Suffolk

Mr Scott said: "Over the next three years, we will invest up to £10m to modernise the facilities within the existing footprint of the Aspall site to create a sustainable future for the business and secure local jobs."

He said the company had worked to reduce vehicle movement to and from the site at Aspall near Debenham, adding: "Although we are planning to produce more cider by 2020, our plans to improve site efficiency, coupled with our logistics expertise, means that the number of vehicles that enter and leave the Aspall site will be reduced significantly."

He estimated the number of vehicles coming and going could drop by 20% by next year, and said the new weighbridge on site - which is already in use - would reduce traffic in the parish of Aspall and nearby Bedingfield.

The company was trying to work with the community "ahead of what we anticipate will be a long residency in Suffolk", he added.

Image copyright Aspall
Image caption Brothers Henry, left, and Barry Chevallier Guild were the eighth generation of their family to run Aspall before they sold up last year

The plans are the first stage of the investment promised by Molson Coors, which also owns brands including Carling and Miller, when it bought Aspall last year.

Brothers Henry and Barry Chevallier Guild, the eighth generation of their family to run the business, sold up after deciding external investment was needed to continue the firm's expansion.

Aspall was founded in 1728 by Clement Chevallier and is based in Aspall, near Debenham, where it employs 127 people.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Aspall employs 127 people in Suffolk

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