The injection will be used across three of the company’s sites and includes a new £30m automated warehouse at Coca Cola Enterprises bottling facility in Wakefield, Yorkshire.
The investment at its Wakefield, East Kilbride and Sidcup manufacturing facilities forms a crucial part of Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) strategy for growth, whilst also reducing the impact of its operations on the environment.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “I welcome Coca-Cola’s new £50 million investment programme in green technology and their ambitions to grow UK production.”
“Food and drink is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK, contributing some £20bn to the economy every year which is 15 per cent of our total manufacturing output,” Mr Cable added. “This investment is a major signal of confidence in the British economy.”
The new facility will increase Wakefield’s storage capacity by 102%, which means that products manufactured at the site will be delivered to customers directly, rather than via external warehouses. As a result, the company has announced that it plans to save 500,000 road miles per year.
CCE is also investing £5.4m in a number of projects at its East Kilbride site. It is introducing a SIDEL SB0 20, a new energy-efficient bottle blowing facility that will produce lightweight PET bottles, reducing the amount of PET required. The drinks manufacturer has also invested in a ACMI Fenix 165 packaging machine that removes the need to use cardboard in the packaging of multi-pack products.
An investment of £15m is boosting production capabilities at CCE’s Sidcup site. A new canning line will raise the site’s capacity by an additional 20 million cases of product per year. Innovations in the technology used on the new canning line mean that it will use 20% less water, helping to meet the company’s aim of reducing the site’s carbon footprint by 610 tonnes in 2012.
Simon Baldry, managing director of CCE GB, said: “We are committed to manufacturing in this country and are proud that 95% of what we sell is made in Great Britain. The £50m investment is crucial to developing our business in line with our fundamental objective to grow more, while minimising our impact on the environment.”
This news comes as the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is running a two-week long showcase of the importance of food and drink manufacturing to the UK economy. The event is running between 14 – 25th November, at 1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0ET.