UPDATE - UK: Carlsberg to close UK brewery
Carlsberg is hoping to find a Yorkshire-based partner in the UK to help with the production of its Tetley's ale brand in the country.
The Denmark-based group confirmed today (5 November) that it will close its Leeds brewery, the home of Tetley's, by 2011, with the loss of around 170 jobs. The move has come after a year-long review of the division's brewing needs in the UK.
Speaking to just-drinks today, Carlsberg UK's marketing director, Darran Britton, said that the brewer would hope to find "a suitable partner in Yorkshire (for Tetley's), but if not in the north, then certainly in the UK".
"Tetley's has still got a clear future for us, it's a critical part of our business as we go forward," Britton said.
The long-term trends for beer in the UK are "not positive", Britton continued. "It's obviously accelerated in the short-term with the economic challenges that we're facing and things like the smoking ban. But this is a reaction to a long-term trend. The losses that we've seen in the last 18 months in terms of the market aren't going to come back. I think the market will continue to decline going forward.
"We need to react to those market conditions and how we see the market developing going forward. One of the things that means is not operating two breweries in the UK. Leeds is our smaller site and it's our older site."
The company is currently in consultation with workers at the Leeds facility. "We've come out as quick as we can to try and let the people that work in the brewery have as much time as possible to plan for the future and consider what it means for them," Britton said.
The majority of production will move to Carlsberg's larger brewery in Northampton, supported by brewing partners in the UK and by Carlsberg's international breweries
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