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Aqua Pura Celebrates Cumbria Links To Millions

Cumbria's leading mineral water company has been celebrating its home county after a multi-million pound investment.

Aqua Pura, which is based outside Armathwaite and sources its product in the Eden Valley, has added Cumbrian scenery to its bottle imagery.

This feature - from industry group Cumbria Tourism's #theplacetobe campaign - was added to 5m of its bottles, sold nationwide. The two have a long-term partnership, which is set to develop further over the coming year.

The move came after parent company Princes Group spent £15m at the firm's site in a bid to help grow the brand.

Jonathan Barr, marketing director, said: "When people imagine Cumbria they think of open countryside, fresh air and pure water and this is exactly what we wanted to emulate when re-designing the branding. We’re really proud of our Cumbrian heritage and chose an area of iconic beauty to showcase this as much as possible, highlighting it across our packaging, event signage, in-store branding and brand website."

Aqua Pura was set up in 1991 and was taken on by Princes - based in Liverpool and part of the Mitsubishi Corporation - in 2004. It employs 130 people.

It bottles natural mineral water, which is sourced from the Penrith sandstone aquifer, which extends from the area around Crooklands to the south of Carlisle. The stone is about 300m years old and the geological make up helps to ensure the purity of the water.

The firm has seen year-on-year growth of 35 per cent in volume, making it the fastest-growing of the major British natural mineral water brands.

It is keen to celebrate its roots in the county and Mr Barr has encouraged other firms to do the same.

He said: "We’ve developed a long-term partnership with Cumbria Tourism, working collectively towards the re-design and using imagery of the Cumbrian landscape from Cumbria Tourism recent #theplacetobe campaign. Along with our packaging, our website has had a full re-design to elevate our brand proposition and focuses on the Cumbrian landscape and continues to reinforce our heritage to both customers and locals."

"Aqua Pura is proud of its Cumbrian heritage and dedicated to working closely with local businesses to ensure the growth of Aqua Pura positively impacts the area and contributes to its economy," he added.

"We really believe that our customers deserve to know that Aqua Pura is sourced from a Special Area of Conservation, right here in Cumbria. For us, emphasis on our Cumbria heritage is key to its success and to position the brand based on its dedication to tradition and natural sourcing methods that customers look for in a product."

He added that the firm has also agreed a long-term parnership with charity Cancer Research UK and has introduced a new hydration tool to its website.

Princes' investment has included the introduction of a high-speed bottling line and extra facilities to produce bottles, caps and lables.

Paul Buckels (corr), the company's general manager, said: "The whole of the investment has been about installing a high-speed production line, which can handle 1,000 bottles a minute."

It has a long association with endurance sport and is a partner of the official water supplier for the Great North Run and the Great North Swim in Windermere.

One third of the firm's staff have been with it for 10 years or more. "We really do try to train and develop staff," Mr Buckels said.

Mr Buckels explained that the investment in the site had helped make many temporary jobs permanent and would help with further expansion of the brand.

He said: "We are always looking at new packaging formats and we have also been able to reduce the amount of plastic in our bottles and increase the recyclable element."

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