Britvic has confirmed it will leave its Norwich site, with the loss of hundreds of jobs in the city, in 2019.The drinks manufacturer, which co-owns Carrow Works with Unilever, said it would transfer production of Robinsons and Fruit Shoot to its other sites.It said it would offer employees redeployment and “help to find alternative employment”.”Transferring production will improve efficiency and productivity and reduce our environmental impact,” it said.Britvic has been based at the site, which it shares with Colman’s Mustard, since 1925. Manufacturing will instead take place at Rugby, east London and Leeds.The decision follows a consultation with employee representatives, including the GMB and Unite unions.A Britvic spokeswoman said it currently employed 249 people at Carrow Works, but that this figure included staff on 12-month fixed-term contracts.
Chief executive Simon Litherland said: “This was not a proposal that we made lightly and we understand that the outcome of the collective consultation process will be upsetting for our colleagues in Norwich. “It is a sad and difficult time. “I want to thank everyone at Norwich, past and present, for their dedication, hard work and commitment, and I would like to say again that this decision is in no way a reflection of their performance.”The move by Britvic has been mooted for several months, with fears expressed for the future of Colman’s Mustard, which has been manufactured at the site since 1860.Unilever, which owns Colman’s, has previously said it could shut the site if Britvic closed operations. It is conducting its own review and is looking at three sites in the city, including staying at Carrow Works.It has been approached for comment.