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The UK’s largest independent cider maker is investing again in its major site at Tiverton in Devon. Aston Manor Cider has outlined how its packaging and production facility will become more sustainable as it supports wider company growth.

As part of a £3 million investment programme to increase capacity and capability across its production sites, Aston Manor Cider has addressed a key issue linked to loading its fleet of lorries at Tiverton.

Production has surged in recent months due to new business success prompting a rise in the number of branded products being produced and packaged at the site. This has resulted in more journeys between Tiverton and Aston Manor’s warehousing facility in Witton, where the cider is taken for onward national distribution.

To meet demand and improve operations out of Tiverton, the business has installed four dock levellers – a mechanical platform used as a bridge between a truck and the loading bay – quadrupling the number of lorries that can be loaded at any one time. The dock levellers enable the lorries to reverse directly onto the warehouse, reducing the time taken to load each vehicle by around 60 per cent.

Whilst being more effective and efficient, it will allow for more loading to be done during the working day and less outside of the normal hours of business – a positive outcome for the site’s neighbours.   

Paul Clifford, site director at Tiverton for Aston Manor Cider commented: “Previously it took 40 minutes to load a lorry and with potentially up to 26 vehicles needing to be loaded per day, it was becoming a challenge.

“This investment will have a huge impact on the efficiency of our operations – not just by being able to load more vehicles simultaneously but by also reducing the time it takes to load each vehicle. This also means we don’t have to make as many loading operations outside of normal working hours. We pride ourselves on being a community business so to be able to implement something that will reduce the disruption to our neighbours is a big bonus for us.

“This investment forms part of an ongoing programme to extend capability and capacity at the site – with a particular focus on being more environmentally sustainable. Additional funds will improve operations on a packaging line and as part of the production process. The site also has a track record of developments that improve the experience for its neighbours.

Paul continued: “Aston Manor is a thriving business which has big ambitions. Investments like this help to support company growth and our site at Tiverton is instrumental in our future plans – we continue to plan and invest in the business and supporting employment in the region.”

In 2009 Aston Manor Cider, the UK’s largest independent cider maker, bought the site in Tiverton to expand its operations. It was part of a £10million investment programme for the company and the factory is now a vital part of the business.

Since then the site has increased production, warehousing capacity and jobs.


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