The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Paul Murphy, today in opening the new £40.5 million Diageo Baileys Global Supply facility at Mallusk, Belfast said, “ such major investments by global companies like Diageo provide tangible evidence of the growing confidence of international investors since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.”
The Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Diageo plc, the international drinks group, already employs 50 people at Mallusk and hopes to employ a further 50 people over the next three years.
The 100,000 sq ft state-of-the-art production facility, which has received financial assistance from Invest Northern Ireland, will manufacture, bottle and pack Baileys Cream Liqueur for the global market. Production at Mallusk began in July this year.
Commenting on the investment, Mr Murphy said: “Diageo’s significant investment is a further endorsement of Northern Ireland as a world class business location by a company with a global reputation for excellence. This increased confidence in Northern Ireland’s future is also seen in the 258 development projects by existing companies assisted by Invest NI last year, a total investment of £400 million and one of the highest investment commitments in recent years.
“This new investment is a very significant boost for the area and the wider Northern Ireland economy which has grown steadily over the past decade and is now the most improved economy in the United Kingdom with unemployment at a historically low level of around five per cent - well below European averages. It will provide 100 new jobs in an area which has suffered a number of serious setbacks from the global economic downturn.
“Among the many qualities which have made Diageo a world leader and which underpin this investment are its commitment to innovation and enterprise – qualities which the Government and Invest Northern Ireland are proactively promoting through a wide range of initiatives that are designed to encourage greater self-reliance throughout the region.
“The group’s focus on excellence has brought leading edge work practices to Northern Ireland and increases the overall capability, experience and skills base of the local manufacturing sector”, he added.
Paul Walsh, Chief Executive Officer of Diageo plc, said: “This is a world class facility in terms of equipment, technology, culture, work practices and environmental care that is already making a very significant contribution to the continuing success of Baileys as a global market leader.
“The support we have received from Invest NI and the local community together with the skills and motivation of the people here have fully justified our decision to locate this important investment by the group in Northern Ireland.”
He said the company is currently sourcing over £2 million per annum from local suppliers and will continue to explore options for using more Northern Ireland suppliers for its raw materials.