Commended Factory in Wales sponsored by Development Board for Rural Wales.
'We've never been made to think of ourselves in the way that the audit questionnaire asked us to,' confessed general manager Chris Hughes. 'We're quite nervous.' He needn't have been. In what is still a very conservative industry, the Whitbread brewery at Magor, Gwent, stands out from the crowd. The plant, which produces the range of British beers, plus lagers such as Stella Artois and Heineken, dates from the late 1970s. In those days substantial growth was forecast for sales of lager, and Whitbread judged that existing brewing capacity would not be enough.
The 58-acre site near Newport offered access to the M4 motorway and to ample supplies of clean water - up to two million gallons a day are required. It had the further attractions of grant aid, and a ready supply of labour in an area that had been heavily dependent on coal and steel.