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Gloucestershire Business News

£13m investment announced in Gloucestershire drinks firm

A cool £13 million is to be poured into a county drinks maker - with £3 million expected to overflow into the pockets of 'local contractors.'

The Forest of Dean factory of the well-known brand is to get a £13 million investment allowing it to fill an astonishing 1.3million bottles a day and cut its energy use per bottle filled by 40 per cent.

Japan-based Suntory Beverage & Food is investing the money in its UK-based subsidiary Lucozade Ribena Suntory to install the new, high-speed bottle filler at its factory in Coleford.

According to the company the investment will "increase productivity and efficiency" at the factory, which has 330 staff.

Chris Kane, supply chain operations director at Lucozade Ribena Suntory, said: "We see our Coleford factory as the heartbeat of our UK operations and we are proud that it is one of the most efficient factories across the globe.

"Our parent company, Suntory Beverage & Food recognises this status and their £13m investment is a vote of confidence in our UK and Gloucestershire operations, ensuring Coleford continues to be a best-in class site for years to come."

The investment has even drawn a comment from Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, International Trade Secretary, and comes as Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, visits the UK.

"Japan is an important trading partner and we are committed to creating an even stronger trading relationship as we leave the European Union, which will help to increase investment and support jobs throughout the UK," said Mr Fox.

"This £13 million investment by Lucozade Ribena Suntory in its Gloucestershire factory is great news for local businesses, customers and the economy."

Approximately £10m is expected to be spent on new production and processing equipment with a further £3m invested directly in local contractors who will build and install supporting infrastructure for the new line.

The new line will be staffed by factory employees that Lucozade Ribena Suntory has trained through its use of the apprenticeship levy.

The company said it had "used the levy fund to bolster its development programme, which recruits and trains apprentices to strengthen the engineering skillset at Coleford".

It said using the new filler would also "support the company's global sustainability strategy" by reducing the amount of water and energy used during the manufacturing process.

The amount of water and energy required to produce each bottle will be reduced by 40 per cent.

The installation of the new filler is set to commence this Spring and it is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year.

Brands made by the firm include Lucozade Energy, Lucozade Sport, Fitwater, Ribena, Orangina and True Nopal Cactus Water.

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