Highland Spring Group Breaks Ground on Factory Extension

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Highland Spring Group Breaks Ground on Factory Extension

Highland Spring Group Breaks Ground on Factory Extension
July 27
10:06 2016

Highland Spring Group, the UK’s leading producer of naturally-sourced bottled water, has broken ground on a major factory extension to house a new production line at its Blackford site in Perthshire. In total, £16 million is being invested as part of a business commitment to double production capacity in the next 12 months as the UK’s thirst for bottled water grows. The move comes as Highland Spring expresses confidence in the category and out-performs the market, experiencing 9.4 per cent year-on-year growth in the last 52 weeks, against a category average of 8.7 per cent[1].

Les Montgomery, chief executive of Highland Spring Group, comments: “UK consumption of bottled water drinks rose 8.2% in 2015 to reach almost 3.3bn litres, with a retail value in excess of £2.5 billion[2]. We have great confidence in the underlying strength of the category and our investment plans to drive long-term sustainable growth. The factory extension will increase capacity at our main Blackford site by 50%, ensuring we are perfectly placed to meet demand for bottled water as consumers continue to switch from sugary soft drinks to healthier hydration choices.

Les Montgomery, chief executive of Highland Spring Group.

Les Montgomery, chief executive of Highland Spring Group.

“It’s expected that, by 2020, the plain water market will reach in excess of 4bn litres and the total water drinks market will stand at volume sales of almost 4.8bn litres[3]. 2016 is set to be another year of double-digit growth and we’re currently out-performing the market. With increased capacity to deliver against demand, we will continue to be at the forefront of healthy hydration for UK consumers.”

The factory extension is the latest milestone in a number of recent initiatives announced by the business, including a new rail siding in Blackford to help reduce its carbon footprint. This will transport the equivalent of up to 60 lorry loads per day by train rather than by road as part of a business commitment to sustainable distribution.

Highland Spring Group has been a resident of Blackford since 1979 and has engaged with the community on the factory extension to help minimise its local impact. Initiatives include the appointment of two full-time banksmen and temporary signage to control traffic in and out of site.

[1] IRI statistics w/e 16th July 2016

[2] Zenith Bottled Water Report

[3] Zenith Bottled Water Report 2015


Simon Oldham, commercial director of Highland Spring Group.

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