Hundreds of jobs set to be axed as Coca-Cola plans to close Milton Keynes site

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Hundreds of people could be set to lose their jobs after Coca-Cola announced plans to close a manufacturing site in Milton Keynes.

The fizzy drink giant admits the news will be ‘upsetting’ for workers at its plant in Northfield Drive.

The business will now conduct a consultation period, and if the plans are implemented, the site would be closed in 2019.

Roughly 290 roles would be lost if the plans - which also include the closure of a distribution centre in nearby Northampton - come to fruition.

A Coca-Cola European Partners spokesperson said: “Our immediate priority is to support staff throughout the consultation process.

“We are proud of our long standing links with both towns and have not made these proposals lightly.

“However, we believe the proposed changes are necessary as they would provide significant productivity improvements and create greater efficiency across our manufacturing and distribution operations in Britain.”

Coca-Cola’s Cold Drinks Centre, in Blakelands, which is responsible for installing and servicing equipment such as fridges, vending machines and dispensing units, and is not impacted by today’s announcement.

Reacting to the news of the proposed closure, MP Mark Lancaster said: “This is very disappointing news. I know it will be a worrying time for the employees and their families.

“I will be working closely with Coca-Cola over the coming year and keeping up to date with the consultation. It is important employees are kept informed and listened to throughout the process.

“It will be of little comfort to those hearing the news today, but our economy in Milton Keynes remains strong and the fastest growing in the UK with new jobs being created every day.”

Milton Keynes Council leader Pete Marland added that he was ‘very concerned’ to hear of the plans.