Harrogate Water Brands, the owner of Harrogate Spring Water and Thirsty Planet, will create 28 new positions at its bottling facility in North Yorkshire.
The £6M bottling line is part of the company’s £8M investment programme, which was recently complemented by a £430,000 grant from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, set up to boost local business.
Doubled the plant’s capacity
It will be housed in a 2,136m² extension and has doubled the plant’s operational capacity, as well as its warehouse space.
Output will also be quadrupled to 36,000 bottles of water an hour, allowing Harrogate Water Brands to meet rising overseas demand from Russia, China, the Caribbean and the Middle East, said the company.
Sales of bottled water in the UK rocketed last year, as a result of the hot summer weather and a trend in consumers moving from sugary drinks, according to the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA).
Both sales volume and sales value for bottled water jumped massively in 2013 by 10.4% and 13.4% respectively, said the BSDA.
“Last year’s sales increase buoyed by some much needed warm, sunny weather, should serve as a reminder that this sector continues to provide opportunities for growth,” Gavin Partington, BSDA’s director said.
£3.5M into its bottled water factory
Such strong sales led Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) to announce plans it was pumping £3.5M into its bottled water factory in Morpeth, Northumberland, to expand into Europe.
The two-year investment plan would see new blending and mixing equipment, as well as new labelling equipment, installed at the facility.
According to CCE, the investment would support the launch of its premium US bottled water brand Glacéau Smartwater into Europe, beginning with the UK.
At the time of the announcement in May, Pete Smith, operations director at CCE Morpeth, said: “The factory already has a proud history of producing high quality water for consumers across Great Britain and we are very much looking forward to bringing another to the market.”
CCE’s investment would also benefit staff at the site with a training and development programme, it said.