More than 200 jobs under threat as Britvic plans to close Norwich factory


Soft drinks giant Britvic has put forward plans to shut its manufacturing site in Norwich, putting 242 jobs at risk.

The group has tabled proposals to transfer production of Robinsons and Fruit Shoot from the Norwich factory to sites in east London, Leeds and Rugby as it looks to make "significant productivity and efficiency savings".

Britvic is set to begin consultation with impacted employees and, under the plans, the site will close towards the end of 2019.

The company said that every impacted employee will be offered a "comprehensive package of support", including redeployment opportunities at other sites and outplacement services to help find alternative employment.

Britvic plots Fruit Shoot Expansion
Britvic plots Fruit Shoot Expansion

Britvic boss Simon Litherland said: "This is not a proposal that we make lightly and we know this is upsetting news for our colleagues.

"We are very grateful for the hard work and dedication of our employees at our Norwich factory and today's announcement is in no way a reflection on their performance or commitment.

"However, the changes we are proposing today present significant productivity and efficiency savings in our manufacturing operations, deliver environmental benefits and, coupled with our ongoing investment programme in our GB manufacturing operations, ensure that we have the flexibility and capability we need to respond to changing consumer trends faster and more efficiently."

Costs related to the closure will be detailed at Britvic's full year results in November.

In 2015 Britvic announced a three-year £240 million investment into its British manufacturing operations, a plan the firm says it is committed to despite the Norwich closure.

Mr Litherland said: "No decisions will be made prior to full and proper consultation with employees and our focus is on ensuring we offer our colleagues on-going support and assistance throughout this difficult time."

Britvic added that it has informed Unilever, the Norwich site's co-owner.