PRIME Minister David Cameron says it is vital that Burton ‘gets all the help it needs’ to remain as the capital of brewing.
Speaking following a special visit to Molson Coors’ Station Street brewery to take a close look at the firm’s new £20 million bottling plant, Mr Cameron heaped praise on the town and its role, via the beer and pub industry, in helping to boost the wider economy over the past few years.
He also took time to support the role that the traditional British pub plays in modern society.
He told the Mail: “I am a big fan of the traditional British pub and I think that the British beer industry is a really vital industry.
“Burton is the capital of brewing and it is important that we help to keep it that way.
“This is one of the reasons that this Government has tried to help the town and the industry on the whole by taking important steps such as abolishing the beer escalator, cutting beer duty two budgets in a row and rate relief for pubs.
“These are a series of steps that help recognise what an important industry this is and representing what an important part of Burton’s culture it is, as well as for Britain as a whole.
“I am sure that there is more that we can do but it was interesting to visit Molson Coors and listen to MP Andrew Griffiths, who is the beer spokesman in Parliament. He stands up for this industry and stands up for Burton in a very important way.”
Before stopping off at the brewery, the Prime Minister found time to head to the national football centre, St George’s Park, to tour the £105 million facility and meet with England manager Roy Hodgson.
Burton MP Mr Griffiths, who flew back to Burton from a holiday in Spain to escort Mr Cameron around the brewery, spoke of his ‘delight’ in being able to showcase the ‘excellent’ efforts being made by the brewing industry in the town.
He said: “I really am glad that I have been able to bring the Prime Minister to Burton to show him the excellent facilities at St George’s Park and show him the investment being made by Molson Coors to secure the future of the firm in the town.
“He was pleased to see how the cash injection of £75 million has helped secure jobs in the area and means that the firm is dedicated staying here in the long-term.
“This visit and the Prime Minister’s kind words are recognition that the Government is on our side.
“They have shown this recently with the axing of the beer duty escalator and two years of cutting beer duty.
“I explained to Mr Cameron that the great work and the investment by Molson Coors is having a huge impact in the town and is being felt by people all across the area, not just the industry and workers.
“It is simple investment like this which has secured thousands of jobs, and secured the future of a global firm in the town. It is important this work has been recognised by people at the very top of government.
“With the likes of Molson Coors and Marston’s here to stay and the industry on the up, the future is bright for Burton.”