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Drinks firm to lay off 50 workers

Jobs gloom descended on Northern Ireland again yesterday as drinks company Britvic announced it was to lay off workers in Belfast and Omagh.

Britvic said its distribution contract with Magners owner C&C is set to end next month as the company consolidates its distribution network after the recent purchase of Tennents.

Britvic has 156 staff in Northern Ireland, with 139 based at a facility on the Castlereagh Road in east Belfast and 17 at Gortrush Industrial Estate in Omagh.

It is understood that up to 50 jobs could go following the loss of the contract.

The firm said in a statement: “Termination of the contract will impact the scale of Britvic Northern Ireland’s operations and is likely to result in job losses across our logistics function. Northern Ireland remains an important market for Britvic and we will now undertake a business review to assess how best to service our supply chain requirements there.

“A consultation process with Britvic Northern Ireland staff is now under way and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

C&C purchased Tennents in August, which gave the firm access to its logistics network across Northern Ireland and meant it no longer needed support from Britvic.

PUP MLA Dawn Purvis voiced her disappointment at yet more unemployment woe in east Belfast.

“Job losses damage whole communities and we have had too many of late.”