Ardagh Group is to permanently close its Milford, MA, glass container production facility.

It blamed a continued decline in demand from the mass beer market in the United States for the closure.

The site employs 250 people and closure is expected to take place on or after March 31, 2018, following which affected customers will be serviced from the group’s other North American glass facilities.

It said that although capacity dedicated to the mass beer market will be reduced, it will continues to pursue growth opportunities in stronger performing end markets, including wine, spirits and food.

This will entail the conversion of some mass beer capacity to serve these alternative end markets.

It added that targeted investments in its North America network, including in new inspection equipment, will enhance its competitive position and enable differentiation through a focus on innovation, quality and service.

The company acquired the Milford plant, which began operations in 1973 and has been producing beer bottles since 1987, as part of its $1.7 billion (€1.4bn) purchase of Verallia North America in April 2014 from French group Saint-Gobain.