Princes is investing £15m in an extension and redevelopment project at its Aqua Pura plant in Cumbria as part of plans to grow the bottled water brand.
The project includes a factory extension to accommodate a new bottling line and construction of an office block to house a new laboratory, engineering workshop, staff canteen and welfare facilities. It will also increase capacity and offer environmental benefits such as reduced road miles to off-site storage and the ability for further light-weighting of water bottles to reduce packaging.
Four new engineering jobs will be created at the Eden Valley site, which already employs 130 people.
“This strategic investment consolidates Princes’ position as one of the UK’s leading soft drinks suppliers and reflects the strength and scale of the bottled water market,” said Princes corporate relations director Ruth Simpson.
“We are committed to ensuring our sites have the capacity and technological capabilities to not only meet customer needs now but also provide a platform for long-term future growth.”
Sales of bottled water have surged 12.2% to £871.1m [IRI w/e 3 January 2015], making it the fourth-biggest soft drinks category by value, and the fastest growing.
Last week, Princes announced a £3.6m extension and upgrade at its canning facility in Long Sutton, the company’s largest UK site.
The food and drink group said the investment, which will see creation of new staff changing and catering facilities, was part of an ongoing commitment to support the wellbeing of its workforce.
“We are investing in providing them with a modern working environment that promotes the development of Long Sutton as a best-practice producer of UK canned food,” added Simpson.