Magners firm to close UK cider facility at Shepton Mallet
Magners brand owner C&C Group is to close its Shepton Mallet Cider Mill in Somerset with the loss of 127 jobs.
The historic production plant, which has been making cider on the site since 1770, makes the Irish company’s British brands including Addlestone, Blackthorn, Olde English, K and Chaplin & Corks.
Production will move to the Magners plant in Clonmel in Ireland.
The company said the move was being made because of “intensely competitive” trading conditions in Ireland and the UK which resulted in its combined production facilities running at just 34% of capacity.
A plant at Borrisoleigh in Ireland will also close with the loss of 54 jobs.
Fruit milling will continue at Shepton Mallet and C&C said it will continue to source apples on a long-term basis from local farmers.
C&C was criticised by the trade union Unite after details of the move were reported in local and national media ahead of an official announcement.
Unite regional coordinating officer Steve Preddy said: “It is disgraceful and Dickensian that this dedicated and loyal workforce should hear of the closure through the media.
“The company has used the media in a cynical way to pave the way for this bad news – our members deserved much better.
“This is a grievous blow to the workforce, their families, the town and the Somerset economy.”