Jobs blow as brewery closes
Brewer Scottish & Newcastle today announced plans to close its Reading brewery with the potential loss of 362 jobs.
The Foster's and Kronenbourg 1664 maker, which is being bought by European rivals Heineken and Carlsberg for £7.8 billion, said the site would close by early 2010. S&N said closure of the former Courage brewery - open since 1979 - was the "most viable option going forward".
The closure follows the company's November decision to shut a bottling plant at the Reading site, costing around 250 jobs. S&N has also shut breweries at Newcastle and Fountainbridge in Edinburgh during recent years to cut costs. S&N said the latest move would address a "general over-capacity" in the UK brewing sector - as well as saving the brewer around £13 million a year.
The company's group operations director, Stephen Glancey, said: "The nature of the Reading site, the amount of investment required to make it competitive and its relative cost compared to other UK facilities means that there is a strong business case for closure.
"We will, of course, do all we can to mitigate the effects of the closure on the people affected."
The closure of the 58-acre site will leave S&N, which also makes John Smith's and Newcastle Brown Ale, with around 3,000 UK staff. It will begin talks with union officials in the next few days.
The company added: "S&N will work closely with local agencies to ensure that the impact on the local economy and community is minimised."
Brewing and packaging work will be transferred to the company's other sites, which include Tadcaster in North Yorkshire, the Royal Brewery in Manchester and Dunston, Gateshead.
The Edinburgh-based group - the UK's last major independent brewer - has informed its prospective new owners of the plans.
Heineken and Carlsberg, whose fourth approach for S&N was finally agreed by the group's board last month, plan to break up the company when the deal is completed, with the UK business falling into Heineken's hands.
The Unite union said it was "outraged" by the announcement, adding that workers were still "reeling" from the effects of cuts announced by the company last year.
"There seems to be absolutely no rational reason for closing this brewery," said a spokesman.
Iain Loe, research and information manager at the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), said the closure of the brewery was "the end of an era".
Courage - eventually bought by S&N in 1995 - moved its operations to the site almost 30 years ago after itself acquiring local brewer Simonds in 1960. Simonds began business in Reading back in 1785.
Mr Loe said: "Courage was investing in new breweries but all that has gone now - the name of the game is global production of global brands."
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
- 5 Terror threat level raised to severe as PM warns Isis risk could last for decades
Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
Terror threat level raised to severe as PM warns Isis risk could last for decades
Isis 'A Message in Blood' video shows beheading of Kurdish man in Iraq
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£50000 - £80000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Data Sci...
£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...
£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...
£200 - £250 per day + competitive: Orgtel: KYC Analyst, Key Banking Client, Bi...