New investment into Aqua Pura mineral water site

Aqua Pura, Cumbria

Roxane UK, a bottled water company that owns the Cumbrian Aqua Pura natural mineral water brand, has announced a substantial investment in its Eden Valley site as it modernises the business, and invests in the long-term sustainability of the underlying aquifer it is a custodian of.

The Eden Valley site is home to one of the largest aquifers in the UK and employs around 100 people from the local area.

Roxane UK Ltd, a subsidiary of Sources Alma, bought the Armathwaite, Eden Valley water bottling plant from Princes in 2020. The site has been bottling natural mineral water, which is filtered through the mineral-rich sandstone aquifer, for more than 30 years.

The investment in modernising the operations of the plant includes a new 5l litre bottling line, and upgrades to filler and packing equipment on the other three bottling lines. It has also invested in a new state-of-the-art automated warehouse which includes 13 robot LGVs (laser guided vehicles) which manage stock in the warehouse.

Nicolas Jeuland, Roxane UK’s Eden Valley Plant Manager, said: “We take our role as a custodian of the Cumbrian land and aquifer very seriously and this means putting strategies in place to protect the water source.

“This goes hand-in-hand with ensuring our plant is a leader in technology and robotics, which not only makes us more efficient but also helps us attract the best talent. These dual investments will enable us to grow the business further as well as support the local economy for many more years to come.”

The business is looking into the feasibility of installing solar panels at the site to enable Aqua Pura to be made with 100% renewable energy, as well as building the energy self-sufficiency of the total site.

Eden Valley Aqua Pura team – front Nicolas Jeuland, Roxane UK’s Eden Valley Plant Manager

The Eden Valley bottling plant produces more than 400m bottles of natural mineral water a year, and this investment will help create more capacity and enable it to deliver further growth.

Thanks to its 60m metre, fully automated production line, it now fills 64,000 bottles of water an hour and has the capacity to expand that number in peak periods to meet fluctuating customer demands.

Aqua Pura is one of the UK’s fastest growing natural mineral water brands and forms an important part of the long-term growth strategy of its Cumbrian base.

Last year alone, Aqua Pura quenched the thirst of millions of UK consumers. It saw volumes grow by 65% YOY*, making it one of the fastest growing bottled water brands in the UK and the eighth biggest water brand in the UK by volume (bottles sold).

The introduction of 13 robots onto the factory floor has been an automation marvel, helping to de-risk the fulfilment operation. Aqua Pura has invested in growing its skilled workforce with a range of manufacturing engineering apprenticeship schemes and is committed to growing its workforce by a further 15% in the coming years.

As part of the company’s commitment to safe-guarding quality controls, sustainability, and growth, it has purchased 221 acres of land adjacent to its existing 25-acre Cumbrian site. It now owns more than 240 acres of land enabling it to manage the surrounding land to protect the underlying aquifer.

Aqua Pura has always pioneered sustainability within the industry and introduced 100% recycled bottles in 2021 which has saved 600 tonnes of virgin plastic being used.

It has further reduced its plastic use by producing one of the lightest weight bottles in the UK and saved 95 tonnes of plastic from being lost in nature by launching tethered ‘snap caps’ to its 500ml still and sparkling water bottles.