Coors Brewers Limited, the UK's second-largest brewer and owner of Carling, the UK's leading beer brand, has announced a £35m investment plan for the company's Burton-on-Trent site. 

The company will target the investment at improving the Burton Brewery to increase productivity and efficiency. This major investment in the Burton site, upon completion, will increase capacity at Burton by over 1m UK barrels per year. This will reinforce the Coors Burton Brewery position as the biggest brewery in Britain, the company said.

Coors Brewers Limited, which comprises of the majority of the former Bass Brewers, was acquired by Coors Brewing Company of Golden, Colorado, for £1.2 billion on 2nd February 2002. 

The company said that the Burton Brewery investment plan will be achieved within the course of Coors Brewing Company's existing capital-investment and debt-repayment plans.  For 2003, capital spending for Coors Brewing Company is anticipated to be in a range similar to 2002.

The work, which will start in December 2002 and be substantially complete by the end of 2003, will provide the brewery with dedicated bottling, canning and keg halls.

"These dedicated packaging halls will ensure that the site can respond quickly to off-trade demands for different types of drinks packages," the company said in a statement. 

Peter M. R. Kendall, chief executive officer of Coors Brewers Limited, said: "This significant investment is a clear demonstration of our parent company's confidence in the entire team in the UK and shows the size of its commitment to the UK business. It is just one of the ways in which we are looking to maintain the momentum behind our brands and improve our ability to win in the UK beer market. The investment in the Burton Brewery will help us to drive the top line and reduce costs. It will ensure that we can maintain our position as the most-efficient producer in the UK brewing industry."

Martin Thomas, CBL supply chain director, added: "In particular, the development of the off-trade in the UK towards more innovative types of packaging means that we must strive to become increasingly flexible in our production techniques.  This investment will deliver the production flexibility required and ensure capacity for future growth."