Celebrating 60 years of Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola East Kilbride site hits diamond anniversary

The Coca-Cola Bottling Plant in East Kilbride has marked 60 years of production, standing strong as a stalwart part of the west coast of Scotland’s industrial history.

ESTABLISHING yourself as part of a local community is something plenty of convenience retailers have plenty of experience with.

Being able to work first-hand with members of the community ensures yours becomes a familiar face in the area.

However, when it comes to establishing a massive global brand in such a tight-knit area, it can be a whole other kettle of fish.

But Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) has proven itself to be part of the furniture in the town of East Kilbride as the firm celebrates 60 years of its Scottish west coast manufacturing plant.

First kicking off in 1964, the site was initially responsible for the production of the Schweppes range of drinks, which Coca-Cola acquired when the firm purchased the brand.

Since then, the site has been responsible for the bottling of products including the glass bottle range of Appletiser drinks as well as Schweppes 200ml glass bottles; PET plastic bottles for Coca-Cola drinks as well as Dr Pepper, including its two litre and 500ml PET plastic bottle formats and Capri-Sun pouches.

Not only this but the site has been behind kicking off new initiatives across the entire CCEP portfolio such as its attached caps. First piloted at the East Kilbride site, they are now an integral part of the soft drinks giant here in the UK and make up part of the brand’s overall commitment to supporting the planet.

While just one of the many businesses found in the industrious town, Coca-Cola has found itself to be as integral to East Kilbride as town’s endless roundabouts.

And this hasn’t been done just by resting on its laurels and the strength of the Coca-Cola name as the plant has gone out of its way in recent years to drive support in the local area with its community-first focus.

This has been inclusive of charity efforts such as the Refuweegee initiative, support for local football teams as well as countless apprenticeship opportunities with an emphasis on training up employees within the business.

It’s certainly no accident either as the firm has a keen ambition to encourage these opportunities for education within the business which can be seen across every aspect and area of the site.

The East Kilbride plant takes a forward-thinking approach to ensure an inclusive atmosphere across the business.

No more is this highlighted in the site’s Just Be calendar, an initiative that runs across the East Kilbride plant with a focus on highlighting diversity across the business by shouting out about events including National Women’s Day, Ramadan and Pride.

Not only does this allow the staff at the site to feel more included as part of the company, but it shows how Coca-Cola aims to reach out to the community at large to help support a vast array of different causes.

Discussing the efforts that staff have gone to across the entire plant, Alan French, site director, said: “To be a west coast of Scotland manufacturer that continues to punch above its expected weight is still impressive to me.

“I’m very proud of all that we have managed to achieve over the last 60 years, both as a business but also in our help for the local community of East Kilbride.

“We have worked to improve all aspects of the business over the decades and now, I believe, the East Kilbride site could be seen as a ‘School of Excellence’ for the many people that come here.

“We support plenty of workers through our apprenticeship programmes, with some going on to garner nationwide acclaim for their work.

“We look forward to what comes our way next and hope even the next ten years can be just as successful.”