Marston’s investment leads to staff consultation

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Consultation: up to 45 staff will enter into discussions with Marston's
Consultation: up to 45 staff will enter into discussions with Marston's

Related tags Charles wells Brewing

Pubco and brewer Marston’s is to enter into a consultation period with up to 45 staff at the former Charles Wells brewery in Bedford, as it announces a significant investment at its Burton-on-Trent site.

Marston’s will pump £8m into a new canning and bottling line at its Burton-on-Trent site, resulting in a consultation period for between 35 and 45 staff at the former Charles Wells Eagle Brewery in Bedford, where there is a similar production facility.

Neither brewery staff nor those working on the large packaging lines have been affected by the investment, just those who work on the small-scale packaging lines, The Morning Advertiser ​(MA​) understands.

Marston’s acquired Charles Wells’ brewing business and beer distribution rights​ for £55m in May last year.

Pedigree and Hobgoblin

Following the acquisition the brewing giant, which owns brands including Pedigree and Hobgoblin, told MA ​it had made 53 people redundant.

Managing director Richard Westwood said the losses​ were “an inevitability of an acquisition”.

He added: “We carried out 360 separate interviews and had retained 85 people from Charles Wells, as well as significant restructuring at Marston’s, to take on the new business.

“No matter how much you’d like to you can’t keep hold of everyone, and as a result of that, there will be around about 53 redundant jobs. We said at the time it would be more than 50 but less than 100. It will be ultimately less than 60.”

Charles Wells’ systems and brewery had been fully integrated into Marston’s business as of 28 July, said Westwood.

Deliveries by Marston’s

Beer deliveries have been handled by Marston’s since 31 July, he added.

Meanwhile, in an interview with MA ​last year, Westwood waded​ in on the cask quality debate, saying there was no need to pit one against the other.

He said: “I do hate to get embroiled in this cask v craft debate. I actually don’t think there’s a one versus the other, because great beer is great beer.

“The differentiation of craft to cask for me is almost a little bit of a side debate, but I think that as commercial brewers we have to be mindful of the way the market is seeing craft and certainly the way the consumer is seeing it.”

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