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Princes completes first phase of £60m Cardiff investment
International food and drink group Princes has completed the first phase of a planned £60m investment in its Cardiff manufacturing site, with the installation of seven new state-of-the-art soft drink production lines, in addition to a significant upgrade and refurbishment of two existing lines. Commissioning of all new lines is currently underway.
Following completion of the project – the group’s largest ever capital investment into soft drinks – the Cardiff site will have the capability to produce ambient, mini and chilled drinks, doubling overall production capacity.
Princes will also be able to expand its product range beyond fruit juice and enter new markets, as well as introduce additional packaging sizes and formats to meet customer demand. Additionally, the investment will reduce its carbon footprint through increased efficiencies and the use of more environmentally-friendly carton materials.
The site is one of the largest employers in the area, employing more than 200 people, with its supply chain supporting hundreds of local and regional jobs. As a result of the upgrade, 80 new employees have joined the Princes Group at its Cardiff site, with up to an additional 50 set to be recruited later this year.
Barry McDonnell, chief operations officer at Princes, said: “This is an important milestone in our £60m investment programme at Cardiff, which will future-proof the site and our manufacturing capabilities, increase production and enable Princes to enter new markets. The past 12 months have of course been challenging, however our dedicated on-site project and operational teams collaborated to adopt Covid-19 secure practices, while working to meet increased customer and consumer demand for our products and progress construction works. We’re delighted that this significant investment remains on track for completion in 2021 as a result of their hard work.
“Through this development programme, we are firmly committed to contributing to a sustainable and successful future for the soft drinks industry and British manufacturing overall, and providing long-term, high quality employment opportunities in the area.”
The investment project at Cardiff is set to continue throughout 2021, during which the factory will remain fully operational. In addition to the introduction of chilled and mini production lines, the project will involve strengthening the site’s warehousing and logistical capabilities.
The Cardiff site currently operates as a centre of excellence for its fruit juice, manufacturing Princes, Jucee and customer own label products. The site currently produces one-litre, ambient juices, multipacks and ready to merchandise display units.
Lesley Griffiths, Welsh minister for rural affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd, added: “It is great Princes have completed the first phase of their significant expansion in Cardiff. This news is very welcome after such an incredibly difficult year for our food and drink producers and our economy as a whole.
“I am pleased the Welsh Government is supporting this project and it will be key in helping Princes enter new and exciting markets, meet their waste reduction targets and create new employment opportunities in the industry.”