The C&C Group, an Irish soft drinks, wine, beer and cider company, has announced plans to close its cider mill in Shepton Mallet, Somerset UK as it seeks to consolidate production in Ireland. The company, which is headquartered in Dublin, employs 127 workers at the Somerset mill in the UK. A total of 120 jobs will be lost when mill is closed down in the summer of 2016.
C&C will hire 80 new employees to support growth at its Clonmel facility in Ireland, where it will focus on the production of niche premium ciders and beers, Tipperary Water and the Bulmers and Magners lines. In January 2016, the company announced the closure of Shepton Mallet in the UK, as well as the termination of production in its Borrisoleigh, Co Tipperary plant.
Although the mill will close, it is understood that fruit pulping will continue at the Somerset site. The mill currently has two full-time staff for its fruit pulping operation and up to 15 seasonal staff. The date of closure has yet to be confirmed, though it is expected to occur in the summer of 2016. The trade union Unite UK criticised the decision to close the mill, arguing that shareholder profit was the company’s main priority. Unite also noted that the decision brought to an end a long standing tradition as the mill had operated in the town since 1770.