EU funds help: Joy blossomed from ruins in the spa
19. 10. 2020
Mariánské Lázně has another feature to be proud of in its centre. It is a reconstructed bottling plant for healing springs of the company Bohemia Healing Marienbad Waters. It has already started producing the popular medicinal water on a large scale.
It was literally a ruin for sale. Just about to fall. And so a significant decision came to invest tens of millions of Czech crowns in the project. The building was saved and restored to its original purpose. The reconstructed bottling plant of the spa springs in Mariánské Lázně was approved for use at the end of last year and started operating. The whole project was the idea of the company Bohemia Healing Marienbad Waters (BHMW). "When we had an audit carried out years ago, the result surprised us unpleasantly, it was truly terrifying. Nevertheless, we decided to go for this project. And everything suggests that the decision was right," says Vojtěch Milko, Executive Director of BHMW.
EVERYTHING NEW FROM THE FLOOR TO THE ROOF
"The total costs of the acquisition of a new technological line for the bottling plant and the reconstruction of the bottling plant for spa springs in Mariánské Lázně were estimated at more than 101 million Czech crowns.
The Mariánské Lázně technological line with accessories is intended for the complete bottling production of natural mineral water Aqua Maria and the yield from the natural source of Rudolf’s spring, or Excelsior, in a traditional bottling plant.
"All subsidies from the European Union totalled 47.5 million Czech crowns," the company's Economic Director Ondřej Chrt explains.
"If I say this completely openly and in layman's terms, we literally "gutted" everything from the buildings and had to make everything new, from the floors to the roof," Vojtěch Milko recalls the past.
COOPERATION WITH THE TOWN HELPED
Everything from the first idea to the completion took three years, it was necessary to solve a lot of administrative matters, including with the Town of Mariánské Lázně which, for example, owned the rights to bottling and the trademarks. "But we found common ground with the town and have become good partners," says Vojtěch Milko.
He also remarks that after the reconstruction, true joy blossomed from the ruins for all the people in the company and residents in the vicinity.
But it took a while for the joy from the completed bottling plant to come. Before BHMW bought and then reconstructed the bottling plant in Mariánské Lázně, it reconstructed the headquarters of springs in Bílina. This is where the main production plant and the management of the public limited-liability company are located. The bottling plant in Bílina has the form of a chateau and was established in 1898.
"The reconstruction took three years. Over that time, we drew experience for the reconstruction of the bottling plant in Mariánské Lázně. We wanted to expand our portfolio of healing spa springs. We were also pushed a little by one of our foreign customers who expressed interest in the springs of Mariánské Lázně. Although we knew what we were facing, of course many unexpected issues emerged, but we solved everything. Thanks to having the experience, we could focus more on the details that we literally pampered,” says Vojtěch Milko.
HEAD’S DRINK WILL ALSO COME
The Mariánské Lázně bottling plant will offer work to 12 people from the region. The work will be done in two shifts.
The capacity of the sources makes it possible to bottle three million litres of the Aqua Maria water, 700 thousand litres of Rudolf's spring and also 200 thousand litres of Ferdinand's spring.
In addition, both bottling plants are currently planning to start producing drinks for HEAD (worldwide manufacturer of sporting goods and accessories - editor's note). BHMW has been the official licensor of this multinational company for several months.
"Mariánské Lázně has the advantage over Bílina in having spa houses directly on the spot. This is a huge marketing gift. We are striving to make the spa industry active also in Bílina soon,“ says Karel Bašta, Marketing Manager at BHMW. "It doesn't matter if it is private or municipal. This town and region deserve it and we believe that spas will make a living here. After all, the springs attract people not only from our country or Europe but also from Asia and America,” Karel Bašta adds.
Photo: Jiří Macek