Jobs losses at Liverpool Gin maker with HQ set to close

Halewood International, which was founded by John Halewood in his garage in 1978, is to close its Huyton headquarters, blaming the COVID-19 crisis. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool Gin
Halewood International’s brands include Liverpool Gin


Liverpool Gin and Lambrini maker Halewood International is to close its Knowsley headquarters, blaming the decision on the COVID-19 crisis.

Halewood, which employs 1,000 people in its global operation, did not say how many jobs would be affected by the closure but said employees were being offered the chance to take voluntary redundancy.

The business, whose products also include Whitley Neill and a number of other vodka and ginger beer brands said some staff would be transferred to its Chorley site in Lancashire and it would seek alternative warehouse locations within a 15-mile radius of the Huyton headquarters in Wilson Road.

In a statement, the company said: “As a business, we are committed to our ongoing strategy of building a range of premium artisanal spirits with strong provenance. However, the impact of Covid-19 and the recent abolition of duty dilution has had a major impact on our sales mix, meaning our carbonated drinks have become less profitable.

John Halewood
Halewood International founder John Halewood


“Consequently, we are considering outsourcing Lambrini to a contract packer, and moving the production and bottling of Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer to our manufacturing site in Chorley.”

Its Huyton operation is spread over 30 acres and has six main bottling lines, capable of producing 28m cases of products each year.

Halewood International was founded by John Halewood in 1978. He began selling Bulgarian wines from his garage and launched his first product Club Royal (sherry). In 1987 he purchased Hall & Bramley and Lamb and Watt, amalgamating their products into his existing portfolio.

In 1990 he formed a joint venture in Romania just after the fall of the Berlin Wall and followed up with an acquisition of Red Square Vodka in 1991. After witnessing the success of Lambrusco Italian wine he launched Lambrini sparkling perry which quickly became the company’s largest selling product.

Mr Halewood died in October 2011 the largest independent producer and distributor of alcoholic products by volume in the UK, selling its products all over the world.

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