Prime Minister and Chancellor visit Europe’s largest soft drinks plant

Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd (CCE) has announced it is spending £13m on new technology at its Wakefield facility, as it welcomed Prime Minster David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne on a visit to Europe’s largest soft drinks production plant.

The £13m new line is dedicated to making the iconic contour Coca-Cola bottle using PET in a range of sizes, at speeds of up to 40,000 per hour.

The Prime Minster and Chancellor saw the work now underway at Wakefield to build the line, which will come into production in September.

Other investment at the site this year will include the installation of a Combined Heat and Power system, which will save 1,500 tonnes of CO2 a year, a 5.6% reduction for the site.

The new production line is being installed as part of CCE’s plans to invest more than £1 million a week in its GB operations this year.

With this £52m injection, CCE has invested a total of £227m in its operations since 2011, underlining its commitment to manufacturing excellence in Great Britain with a range of innovations in machinery and sustainable production.

Other investments this year include:

  •  £3.5m at CCE’s Morpeth facility in new production equipment to make the glacéau smartwater bottled water brand, launching in the summer.
  • £16.5m in a high-speed canning line, capable of producing both 150ml mini cans as well as 250ml slim line cans, which is being installed later this year at CCE’s Sidcup site.
  • £2.2m in the latest manufacturing technology at CCE’s East Kilbride facility with the introduction of a new state-of-the-art robotic palletiser in early 2015. The news comes in a landmark year for the site, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in May.

 John Brock, chairman and chief executive officer of Coca-Cola Enterprises said:

“Coca-Cola Enterprises is a proud local business, with 97% of our products sold in Great Britain being made at our six factories here.

“We have invested £100m in Wakefield, our largest manufacturing facility, since the Prime Minister last visited us in 2010, boosting its manufacturing capabilities with the most innovative and efficient technologies available.

“These actions are a critical part of our long-term strategy to continue to grow our business sustainably and make a positive contribution to the British economy.”

James Quincey, president, Coca-Cola Europe said:

“Today’s announcement brings the Coca-Cola System’s investment in Great Britain over the past five years to more than £500m. It is another example of our commitment to invest for growth and recovery.” 

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“I’m delighted that Coca-Cola Enterprises is investing £13 million in new technology at its Wakefield site.

“This further boost to CCE’s Wakefield plant – the largest of its kind in Europe – shows the huge potential that Yorkshire has to attract global investment and is a big vote of confidence in our long term economic plan.

“By continuing to invest in infrastructure, back business and attract investment, we will secure a better future for hardworking people in Wakefield, Yorkshire, and right across Britain.”

 Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:

“This investment by Coca-Cola Enterprises is a vote of confidence in the UK and in our long term economic plan.

“It is good news that the investment is bolstering the recovery here in the North of England, in Wakefield.

“It shows the potential that exists to create the Northern Powerhouse that I’m talking about today.”

Prime Minister David Cameron meets with Coca-Cola Enterprises’ apprentices as part of a visit to the manufacturer’s site in Wakefield


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