30/09/2002

Minister welcomes £41m Baileys plant for Mallusk

The establishment of a £41m state-of-the-art drinks manufacturing facility in Mallusk is tangible evidence of international investors’ confidence in Northern Ireland, Sir Reg Empey, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, has said today.

Sir Reg was commenting on Diageo plc's investment in a new facility to manufacture, bottle and pack Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur for the global market.

The new 100,000 sq ft supply centre, which is located in Hightown Industrial Estate, will complement the existing site in Dublin and is in direct response to the company’s strategy to double sales of Baileys by the year 2007.

The facility, which begins production in July 2003, will have an initial workforce of around 50, before rising to 93 in the months thereafter.

Commenting on the investment during a visit to the new facility, which will operate under the name of Diageo Baileys Global Supply, Sir Reg Empey, alongside Simon Litherland, Managing Director, said: “This major investment by a global company demonstrates Northern Ireland’s accessibility to global markets and will bring dividends to the local community and beyond.

“As well as establishing a world class manufacturing facility the investment will bring leading edge work practices to the local manufacturing sector. The project also offers significant employment opportunities, both directly and in support services.

“This is excellent news for the East Antrim area. Investments such as this, by world-class companies, increase the capability of the local manufacturing sector and underline Northern Ireland’s position as a very good base from which to trade internationally. It will also assist Invest NI in selling Northern Ireland plc and help attract further inward investment projects."

Mr Litherland added: “We are setting our sights high for this supply centre. We want it to be the best in its class, operating to the highest standards of service, quality, cost and innovation. It will be a place where everyone involved is proud to play their part.

"As a result we will be recruiting highly motivated and flexible individuals who have a relatively high technical skill base. News of this investment will be well received by Baileys markets around the world where demand for the brand is booming.”

Diageo plc was created in 1997 following the merger of Grandmet and Guinness and operates in over 180 countries around the world.

(MB)

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