BREAKING: Fizzy drinks giant Coca-Cola will close Northampton centre and cut 54 jobs

Northampton's Coca-Cola distribution centre is closing in 2019.
Northampton's Coca-Cola distribution centre is closing in 2019.

Coca-Cola has confirmed it will close its sites in Northampton and Milton Keynes and cut almost 300 jobs.

The soft drinks giant will shut its distribution centre in Northampton in 2019 at the cost of some 54 jobs.

It comes after the fizzy drinks firm spent the past two months consulting with employees about the closure - but has ruled that the decision is "the right way forward".

A Coca-Cola spokesman said: "We want to stress that this is not a reflection on the performance or professionalism of our colleagues at these sites.

"We are committed to supporting all those impacted throughout the process of closure and beyond.

"Whilst this was a difficult decision to make, we believe it is the right way forward for our business. It will allow us to significantly improve productivity and create greater efficiency for our business in Great Britain."

The company say they will transfer their production and warehousing from Northampton and Milton Keynes to other sites in the UK, and offer workers redeployment opportunities.

On the company's website, it states that the Northampton centre opened in 1993 and can store more than 24,000 pallets of the company's products.

A spokeswoman for union group Unite said: "This is devastating news for the workers and their families, and the local economies in Milton Keynes and Northampton.

“Unite does not believe that Coca Cola has made a convincing business case for these closures. There were strong representations from Unite during the consultation period.

“Even at this eleventh hour, we urge Coca Cola to have an urgent rethink and not to jettison the hardworking workforces at these two sites.

“We will be exploring with the company the redeployment opportunities that it has offered today, so as many workers as possible find new jobs within Coca Cola.

“As a union, we will be giving our members maximum support during this very difficult time for them.”