Thwaites restructure threatens 60 jobs

Iconic Blackburn brewer Thwaites has announced that 60 jobs are at risk as the company enters its next phase of restructure.

ThwaitesFollowing its first announcement in 2011 of its intention to restructure its brewing interests in the town, and to work with Sainsbury’s and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council to seek to redevelop its site, Thwaites has confirmed that it the next stage of the plans are under way.

Rick Bailey, chief executive of Daniel Thwaites,  said: “We have been clear about our plans for the brewery for over two years now and have been working to reinvest in a new brewery, alongside finding a solution to the redevelopment of our current site.

“We have not been able to make the progress that we had hoped with Sainsbury’s and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, although we continue to pursue all options. We always said that we thought this move would take us three to four years and the time has now come for us to move on. Our current brewery is old, oversized for our current needs and reaching a point of obsolescence; it is inefficient for the demands of today’s market and is reaching the end of its economic life.

“We are therefore proposing a further restructuring of our brewing operations, the next stage in seeing through our commitment to reinvesting in a new brewery locally, that is more efficient and more suitable for the future. That will allow us to do what we do best, which is to brew Thwaites’ delicious beers for our wide range of customers.

“This proposed restructuring and the closure of parts of our old brewery will see the company continue to brew at our Blackburn site in our modern craft brewery, which we installed in 2011. During this transitional phase we will be at full capacity, and to the extent that we have capacity constraints, we will be helped by some of our beers being brewed by external partners.

“Unfortunately we are not currently in a position to make public where the new brewery will be located, but hope to be able to do so shortly.”

Thwaites employs a total of 350 people in its brewery, distribution operations, sales force and head office. Other parts of the business are not affected by the changes. Rick Bailey added: “We are absolutely committed to brewing beer, which will remain at the heart of the hospitality we provide and whilst it is incredibly hard to lose colleagues, we believe this is best way forward for the company.”