AROUND 24 jobs are to be created in the Wee County as Belhaven set up a national distribution centre near Tullibody.

The brewer and pub retailer say the centre at the Dumyat Business Park will become the new hub for their nationwide drinks distribution network.

It will supply Belhaven’s pub estate as well as independent customers with beers from the company’s Dunbar-based brewery, renowned as Scotland’s oldest working brewhouse, as well as products from other suppliers.

The news has been hailed as boost to the economy in Clackmannanshire – an area which bears a rich brewing heritage.

John Murray, head of distribution at Belhaven, said: “Over recent years, our customer footprint has expanded across Scotland and Alloa is in a great central location with strong travel links, making it an ideal location at which to base our distribution operations.

“The new centre will initially create 24 jobs in the area and we will be making a significant investment in the site, which will enable us to be closer to our many Scottish customers and provide them with more efficient service as well as a more competitive market offering.”

Applications are being taken for a number of roles in the new distribution centre, including drivers, warehouse operatives and administrative assistants.

Les Sharp, the SNP's group leader and councillor for the Clacks West ward, welcomed the jobs boost to the Wee County.

He said: "I was delighted when Belhaven approached us to discuss a potential expansion to their operation in Clackmannanshire, we worked with them throughout the process and I am delighted that they decided to consolidate their national distribution depot in the county, bringing a larger, more efficient operation to their site, whilst including a safer traffic management strategy for their staff.

"The brewing industry has always been a feature in Clacks and Belhaven's investment means that we will have a national distribution hub from where they can send, not only their own products, but a wide portfolio of goods to their customers across Scotland.

"An expansion such as this brings much-needed jobs, a safer working environment and a long-term commitment to the county which, as leader of the SNP group I welcome. The company have always been forward thinking and this latest move ensures that its logistics are fit for the future.

"It's nice to know that wherever you see Belhaven in Scotland, you will know that it was sent from Clackmannanshire."

Council leader Bobby McGill added: "Very excited to hear that Belhaven has procured the ground from Clackmannanshire Council for their main distribution hub in Scotland. This brings a further 24 jobs to Clackmannanshire for a firm that has gone from strength to strength and is very welcoming indeed."

Those interested in finding out more or applying for a position can contact Colin Rodger, Belhaven transport manager for Alloa, on 07799 474047 or via email