Local MP Mark Pawsey and Anthea McIntyre, MEP for the West Midlands, paid a visit to Ball Packaging Europe’s plant in Rugby recently where they had a chance to see a prime example of the UK’s packaging manufacturing industry.
Mark and Anthea learnt more about the plant’s role as an economic factor for both the town and the region and paid tribute to Ball’s accomplishments.
Three per cent of the UK’s manufacturing workforce – about 85,000 people – is employed in the packaging sector. This industry significantly contributes to the national economy with total annual sales of £11 billion. As a world leader in product innovation and manufacturing technology, the productivity of Britain’s packaging industry is more than twice as high as all industries’ average performance.
Speaking after the visit Mark said:
“It was great to be brought up to date with Ball Packaging’s operations here in Rugby. Having spent my career before becoming an MP, and now Chairman of the All Party Group for the Packaging Industry I was pleased to see how efficient the Rugby plant is and the very responsible approach to the use of resources and encouraging recycling.”
Miss McIntyre commented:
“I can see how important the packaging industry is for our country and I am impressed by the sector’s productivity and I am happy to support their cause.”
As one of Europe’s major beverage can producers, Ball Packaging Europe contributes to the success of the UK’s packaging industry. At its UK sites at Wrexham, Rugby, Deeside Chester, the company employs nearly 600 people. In total the can maker produces an annual volume of 3.6 billion cans and 8.5 billion ends for 12 major UK customers.
In addition to visiting Ball’s Rugby site, Mark and Anthea also took the opportunity to visit the soft drink company Britvic, Ball’s next-door neighbour and key customer. Both plants are connected via a tunnel link. In a seamless production process the manufactured cans go straight into Britvic’s filling and logistics process.
Since 1989 Ball has been producing beverage cans at Rugby and has invested nearly £10 million over the last five years. Today, 142 employees are involved in the process of manufacturing three different can sizes on two lines.