Brewery pledge after bottling plant closes

BELHAVEN, the Scottish pubs and brewing business owned by Suffolk-based Greene King, has pledged to continue brewing north of the border.

Duncan Brodie

BELHAVEN, the Scottish pubs and brewing business owned by Suffolk-based Greene King, has pledged to continue brewing north of the border.

Union leaders had voiced fears about the future of Belhaven's historic brewery in Dunbar, where beer had been produced of more than 300 years, after bosses announced the closure of its bottling plant.

Around 20 jobs will be lost as a result, with bottling operations being moved to Greene King's bottling plant in Kempson Way, Bury, from January.

Scott Foley, an official for the Unite union in Scotland, described the decision to truck beer to Suffolk for bottling as “ridiculous” and said there were concerns that brewing operations might also be transferred to Bury.

However, Euan Venters, managing director of Belhaven, said that brewing and kegging would remain at the Dunbar site, which has a workforce of around 170.

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The transfer of bottling to Bury made commercial sense in view of the cost of upgrading the bottling facility at Dunbar and a decline in volumes, he added.