The brewer revealed plans this week to move the line to its site in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, where it will be investing £8M in a new “state-of-the-art” line.
Of the 150 staff at the brewery, between 35-45 workers’ jobs are under threat. Those whose jobs are at risk would be offered voluntary redundancy or other positions within the business, said Marston’s.
Brewing operations at the Bedford site would not be affected, according to the company.
Move follows acquisition
The decision to move canning and bottling operations away from the Eagle brewery comes less than a year after Marston’s purchased the site from Charles Wells as part of a £55M deal.
It took control of Charles Wells’ portfolio of more than 30 beers, including the Bombardier, Young’s and McEwan’s brands.
The value of the sale equated to nine times the size of Charles Wells’ current earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.
Md Richard Westwood told BBC News that canning and bottling at the Havelock Street brewery in Bedford was ceasing, because the line there was no longer fit for purpose.
“We have spent nine months looking at this, because one of the original intentions was to see if we could refurbish the line, but that is not going to be possible,” he said.
Meanwhile, Coca-Cola European Partners has announced plans to shut two UK sites, with the loss of close to 300 jobs.