BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Wales  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 17 September, 2002, 12:56 GMT 13:56 UK
Cream of Manchester made in Wales
Melanie Sykes
Melanie Sykes was a star of Boddingtons adverts
The production of draught flow Boddingtons beer could be switched to south Wales by 2004 under proposed changes at a Manchester brewery.

Currently both the cask ale and draught flow versions of the beer are brewed at the Strangeways plant, where Boddingtons has been based for more than 200 years.

Boddingtons
The beer has been based in Manchester for 200 years

But Interbrew UK, the giant Belgian firm behind the brand, now aims to shift some of its production to plants in Magor, south Wales and Salmesbury, near Preston.

Cask ales - the more traditional pint - will still be brewed in Strangeways, but the national draught flow brand could leave the area completely.

Any potential moves would take place in phases over the next two years.

Initially, the beer will be kegged elsewhere, such as at the Magor facility, which is one of Interbrew's five main brewing plants in the UK.

A series of taste tests will then have to be undertaken and passed before brewing itself could be moved.


We believe very strongly in the Manchester image and will be heavily promoting our cask ale

Interbrew spokesman Peter Radcliffe

But the proposal, which would mean 68 jobs losses in Manchester, has caused controversy among workers, who are now are meeting union officials to discuss opposing it.

Franny Joyce from the Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU) said: "Boddingtons is known the world over as The Cream of Manchester - it's an insult to brew it elsewhere.

"The company has made millions out of trading on the fact that Boddington's is the Pride of Manchester and the Cream of Manchester.

"Now it doesn't care where it produces it."

Prominent campaign

The move is part of a company drive to optimise production capacity and cut costs.

Interbrew Chief Executive Stewart Gilliland said the Manchester plant could specialise as a cask ale brewery and build on its heritage.

"As a business, we are totally committed to the Boddingtons brand and will be investing 14m behind it in the year ahead," he said.

Beer
Job losses could hit the brewery

Spokesman Peter Radcliffe added: "We believe very strongly in the Manchester image and will be heavily promoting our cask ale."

Manchester has always played a prominent role in the advertising of Boddingtons.

One famous example featured Mancunians sipping a pint while travelling in gondolas along the Manchester Ship Canal.

But the TGWU said that connection would be lost once the majority of production was moved out of the city.

Interbrew's proposals would mean just one-and-a-half days work a week at the Manchester brewery.

The firm has said none of the job losses will occur before February 2003.

It said it would offer workers all possible support to minimise compulsory redundancies, including relocation where possible.


More news from south east Wales

Click here to go to Manchester
See also:

17 Sep 02 | England
04 Jan 01 | Business
26 Jul 02 | Business
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Wales stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes