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End of an era as last maltings in Grantham is set to close




The end of an era has been announced with the closure of the last maltings in Grantham next month.

The owners of Bairds Malt, on Springfield Road, have announced it will stop production at the end of this month and the site will be closed down by the end of March.

The Journal has been told there are likely to be 15 redundancies.

Bairds Malt. (44465428)
Bairds Malt. (44465428)

Owner United Malt Group says the business will close next month as it aims to reduce costs and consolidate its business at its other sites in Essex and Scotland.

The maltings was built in 1964 and has produced around 30,000 tonnes of malt a year, mostly for traditional UK brewers.

United Malt CEO Mark Palmquist said: “We do not take the decision to close any facility lightly and we fully appreciate the impact this has on our people at Grantham and the community.

Bairds Malt. (44465425)
Bairds Malt. (44465425)

“We will ensure our people at Grantham are supported throughout this process.

“The transfer of malt production to the Witham and Arbroath sites will provide greater unit cost efficiency while ensuring we continue to fully supply our distilling and brewing customers across the region with quality ingredients.”

Currently, United Malt’s Bairds Malt business operates five malt production facilities in the UK; three in Scotland and two in England.

The company said it continues to invest in the Bairds’ Scottish malting facilities to add 79,000 metric tonnes of capacity across its Arbroath and Inverness sites. It aims to reduce energy, waste and water across the operating assets within the group.

The news of the site’s closure has come as a shock to some, while others say it was inevitable and the site will be sold for housing.

Grantham was the home to numerous maltings in its heyday. Up to 20 maltings businesses operated in the town at one time including Lee and Grindlings and Pidcocks.

Currently, United Malt’s Bairds Malt business operates five malt production facilities in the UK; three in Scotland and two in England.

The company said it continues to invest in the Bairds’ Scottish malting facilities to add 79,000 metric tonnes of capacity across its Arbroath and Inverness sites. It aims to reduce energy, waste and water across the operating assets within the group.

The news of the site’s closure has come as a shock to some, while others say it was inevitable and the site will be sold for housing.

One man associated with the company said he was ‘shocked’ by the news.He said: “It is a shock. I’m a bit numb. There are workers who have to pay their mortgages. I think Covid has taken its toll.”

He said that one customer, Heineken, had recently confirmed more orders for the future so it had come as a surprise the site was to close so soon.

A former worker at the maltings, Mark Warren, who worked on the site from2005 to 2008 as manager and then around the Baird’s group from an office in Grantham until 2013, responded to the news on Facebook. He said: “It’s sad, been on the cards for a long time but still a big loss to the town and industry. There were some great people working there when I did and it was my honour to have know them and to have managed the site.

“Good luck for the future to those that are losing their jobs."

Nathan Ward added: “I can still remember going to the top when Rich worked there! Sad to see it go if it does, iconic building in G town.”

Another reader said: “This is sad, not just for those losing their jobs, but I fear that beautiful building and landmark will be pulled down and revolting new builds and flats will blight the landscape.”

Grantham was the home to numerous maltings in its heyday. Up to 20 maltings businesses operated in the town at one time including Lee and Grindlings and Pidcocks.

Bairds said its Grantham Maltings was located centrally in a traditional malting town. The company says it is ideally positioned to take advantage of the Lincolnshire barley fields and to supply malt to customers throughout central and southern England.

Much ofthe Grantham malt is delivered in bulk by road but some 4,000 tonnes is also supplied in 25kg bags.

The site operates a ‘Wanderhaufen’ style of malting plant, consisting of separate steeping, germination and kilning vessels.

The tall malthouse has dominated the town’s skyline for nearly 60 years and has been used for charity abseiling events, but is unlikely to remain for long as the site is developed in the future.



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