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£17m investment gets underway at Princes’ Bradford site
International food and drink group Princes has completed the first phase of a planned £17m investment in its Toftshaw, Bradford site, with the opening of a new squash bottling line.
The new line is capable of handling varying bottle sizes from 750ml to 1.5 litres, with capacity to produce up to 36,000 bottles per hour. Six different bottle formats are planned to be commissioned by the end of December.
The implementation of the new bottling line will also allow the business to further reduce the weight of its bottles, removing approximately 300 tonnes of plastic from its supply chain every year.
Princes has made several recent announcements relating to the recycled content of the plastic it uses. The shrink wrap packaging on its UK manufactured food and drinks is set to move to 50% post-consumer recycled waste (PCRW) by the end of this year. This follows confirmation that the business is using 51% recycled PET in all of its soft drinks and oils and 30% high-density polyethylene (HDPE) in chilled juice drinks.
Andy Hargraves, group director for soft drinks at Princes, said: “Our new line at Bradford is delivering increased production, state of the art equipment and better energy efficiency to the site, and is a major part of our commitment to UK manufacturing and providing long-term, high quality employment opportunities in the area. This investment is also a further example of the strong position we have on the recycled content in our drinks business, as part of our shared responsibility to reduce, re-use and recycle all types of plastic.”
Bradford is the largest UK soft drinks production site in Princes’ portfolio, producing customer own brand still and carbonated soft drinks across a variety of flavours and pack formats.
The site employs over 400 people and is a Princes centre of excellence for fruit squash and manufactures products under the Jucee, Geebee and Wells brands. It also produces a wide range of customer own brand squash products including cordials, premium high juice and squash drinks.
Princes is committed to developing talent for its future, and twelve operator and eight engineering colleagues at Bradford have embarked on an intensive training course as part of the commissioning and performance testing process for the new equipment.