Johnnie Walker prepares for Fife move

Johnnie Walker prepares for Fife move

Building work has begun on the GBP86m (US$124m) extension to Diageo's Scotch whisky bottling plant in Fife, which is set to create 400 jobs.

The move is part of Diageo's restructuring of its Scotch whisky operations, which is expected to lead to net job losses of around 500 - nearly a tenth of the firm's workforce in Scotland.

Diageo aims to open the new bottling hall at its Leven Fife plant in mid-2011 as part of a plan to concentrate bottling operations in Glasgow and Fife.

To make way for the extension, the firm will close its Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock.

Diageo last year stood firm on its decision to close the Johnnie Walker plant, which employs 700 people, following strong opposition to the move from Scotland's Government and trade unions. The firm will also close its Port Dundas distillery in Glasgow.

Earlier this year, Diageo confirmed to just-drinks that it had begun a voluntary redundancy scheme across Scotland to create vacancies for staff set to lose their jobs as part of the group's restructure in the country.