Halewood Wines and Spirits is planning to close the site of its UK headquarters in Huyton, Merseyside, and giving employees the chance to apply for voluntary redundancy.
Opened in 1978, the 30-acre Huyton site has six main bottling lines capable of producing 28 million cases per year, according to Halewood’s website.
The producer of brands such as Whitley Neill gin and Liverpool Gin said that its carbonated drinks business has been hit by the coronavirus outbreak and duty changes.
“As a business, we are committed to our ongoing strategy of building a range of premium artisanal spirits with strong provenance,” Halewood said in a statement.
“However, the impact of Covid-19 and the recent abolition of duty dilution has had a major impact on our sales mix, meaning our carbonated drinks have become less profitable.
“Consequently, we are considering outsourcing Lambrini to a contract packer and moving the production and bottling of Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer to our manufacturing site in Chorley. As a consequence of this, we are proposing to close the Halewood site at Huyton, Liverpool.”
In March, the drinks company announced that it was closing its US subsidiary and downsizing its Australian business, citing the impact of coronavirus.
In this latest announcement, Halewood said that alternative warehouse locations, within 15 miles of Huyton, are being considered for a logistics base and that the logistics and customer service teams will have the opportunity to transfer to the new site. It also envisages that “a number” of operational roles will transfer to Chorley.
Halewood added: “Despite the impact that Covid-19 has had on the business and the industry as a whole, we are still seeing strong UK and international growth for our core premium artisanal spirits brands.”
Earlier this year, Halewood Wines and Spirits acquired a 48% share in Polish craft spirits brand Vestal Vodka as part of its strategic focus on artisanal spirits.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020