Molson Coors Brewery; Molson Coors Brewery;

Molson Coors Renaissance Programme, Burton-on-Trent

Molson Coors: transforming a 34-hectare brewery

Molson Coors has been operating in Burton-on-Trent for more than 200 years and the organic growth of its brewery unveiled new opportunities to reconfigure and rationalise its 34-hectare estate. With an output of six million hectolitres of beer per year, how can Molson Coors create a single world-class brewing operation with leaner and more efficient operations?

We have been working with Molson Coors since 2012 supporting their brewing renaissance redevelopment programme, helping to secure a sustainable future for Britain’s largest brewery site whilst maintaining the brewer’s rich heritage in Burton-on-Trent. The renaissance programme will see the company invest £75m, the biggest single capital investment in British brewing over recent decades.

Arup was appointed initially to undertake a review of all Molson Coors’s operations and assets with a view to consolidate and streamline operations as well as incorporate modern technologies for now and the future. Under robust project management leadership, experts in urban design, planning, cost management, environmental, operations and logistics formed an integrated team to generate conceptual site development options and associated business case for the redevelopment of the brewery and wider property portfolio across the town. 

Project Summary

34ha of operational assets reviewed

40%potential reduction of operational area

£26mestimated potential release of asset value

Maintaining brewing operations

We developed a ten-year phased site redevelopment strategy which enabled the reconfiguration of the site to continue in phases and allow production activities to continue without disruption. The strategy included identification of potential uses for redundant land and assets within the estate to maximise consolidation and recognise possible land disposal potentially releasing an estimated £26m.

Our integrated team analysed the site holistically and developed a strategic masterplan, business case, cost estimate and a phased delivery roadmap for the redevelopment programme. The masterplan has made way for phased investment including demolition of redundant infrastructure, installation of new beer processing facilities, relocation of critical equipment, brewhouse upgrades and other site infrastructure upgrades such as a new fire ring-main for the site.

Molson Coors Entrance Molson Coors Entrance
The entrance of the Molson Coors brewery after the redevelopments as part of the programme. 

Ensuring efficiency and protecting heritage

A key challenge was unpicking a thriving brewery operation that had grown organically to create a more efficient and streamlined estate, from raw goods through production to distribution off-site. Our project and programme management experts ensured that the project was organised in a collaborative and governed approach with timely inputs from trusted experts.

To understand the value of releasing surplus land and its potential uses, we successfully engaged with the local planning authority and ensured that any potential use aligned with the local plan for the region.

Areas of the estate contained listed buildings and the brewery site was situated between two conservation areas. Our masterplanning strategy was developed to complement and minimise any impact on wildlife or heritage. The historic buildings on site presented a perfect habitat for protected species such as bats and peregrine falcons. Our ecology specialists focused on the suitability of the site to support habitats and species that are subject to the provision of legal protection and our recommendations ensured measures were taken to ensure compliance with legislation and policy during any proposed demolition.

Arup is very professional. On this project we wanted rigour and discipline and we definitely had that. Arup brought confidence to us around administering the contracts, the processes and also in rolling out the processes - our staff on the team adopted them too and this ensured consistency. For what was a complex project the Arup team worked well collaboratively to resolve issues as they arose which ultimately led to completion on time and to budget. ” Peter O'Connell Masterplan Project Manager, Molson Coors Brewing Company

A more cost-efficient operation

Looking at production buildings, offices, site layout and landscaping we collaborated with key stakeholders in a series of one-to-one interviews, surveys and workshops. Together, we explored opportunities to consolidate and reconfigure assets to create space for expansion, including:

  • Relocation of selected activities to allow the disposal of an entire operational site and remove a disused link bridge that would eliminate the need for ongoing maintenance expense.

  • Creation of a warehouse on the main brewery site which could assist with the disposal of the national distribution centre.

  • Creation of new administration space on the main brewery site either by the refurbishment of existing buildings or by a combination of refurbishment and construction of new offices.

Following our advice, the strategic masterplan, business case, cost estimate and a phased delivery roadmap has been welcomed by Molson Coors’s Management and has been incorporated into their ten-year capital investment plan.

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