World's Biggest Brand thinks Northern Ireland is it

Invest Northern Ireland has welcomed the decision by Coca Cola HBC, to locate its new all-Ireland production site in Northern Ireland.

In a £50 million investment, which will be supported by Invest NI, the company is to develop a site at Knockmore Hill near Lisburn to centralise its production facilities in Ireland.

Invest NI chief executive, Leslie Morrison said: “Invest NI has been in negotiations with Coca Cola Bottlers for the last two years and I’m delighted that the outcome is a decision by the company to make this significant, long-term commitment to Northern Ireland.  It is another indication that international heavyweight organisations recognise how competitive Northern Ireland is and what it can offer in terms of resources.”  

The company looked at more than 60 sites across Ireland before making its decision to invest in Northern Ireland.

“This investment represents a significant boost to the food and drink processing industry here which is playing such a vital role in the evolution and restructuring of the Northern Ireland economy,” said Leslie Morrison.

“The sector employs over 19,000 people and generates an annual gross turnover of over £2 billion, accounting for 21% of Northern Ireland’s manufacturing activity.  Invest Northern Ireland and DARD are supporting its development through the Fit for Market food sector strategy.”

The decision by Coca Cola Bottlers to invest in Northern Ireland follows a number of recent high profile Invest NI supported investments. These include decisions by some of the world’s biggest names such as Citigroup, and software giants Oracle and Microsoft, to set up in Northern Ireland. “Northern Ireland now has an enviable international reputation as a premier location for inward investment,” added Leslie Morrison.

Invest NI has offered the company a package of support that will include financial assistance.

Alfie Lydon, Managing Director of Coca-Cola Bottlers, said: “Our decision to invest in this new single manufacturing site will secure Coca-Cola Bottlers’ marketing, sales and manufacturing operations on the island of Ireland. It will also give us the essential new capacity to respond more rapidly to changing consumer needs in a highly competitive trading environment.”