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Coca-Cola jobs to go at Milton Keynes and Northampton sites

Coca-Cola logo Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Coca-Cola said its priority is to support workers at both sites

Coca-Cola plans to close two UK sites, with the loss of almost 300 jobs, the company has announced.

The closure of the manufacturing site in Milton Keynes would involve 234 jobs, with a further 54 jobs hit at a distribution centre in Northampton.

The company said the proposed changes would provide greater efficiency and it expected to create 121 roles elsewhere.

Trade union Unite said it was "very disappointed" and will fight the proposals.

If the proposal goes ahead, the sites would close in 2019.

The plant at Milton Keynes, which was established in 1976, has nine manufacturing lines and produces 60 million cases of soft drinks a year.

Coca-Cola is proposing to transfer production and warehousing to other GB sites, and expects to create 121 additional roles, providing potential redeployment opportunities for impacted colleagues.

'Proposals not made lightly'

In a statement, the company said: "We know today's news will be upsetting for our people at these sites, and our immediate priority is to support them throughout the consultation process.

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

The Northampton distribution centre opened in 1993 and is operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Sally Mortimer, regional officer for Unite in the East Midlands, said the announcement was totally unexpected and the closure would be a blow to the Northampton economy.

"Unite will be putting a business case back to the company because we believe we're central to all and we have good road links", she said.

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