DIAGEO has announced it investing £40.5 million to expand capacity at its packaging facilities in Belfast, Northern Ireland and Runcorn, England, to support the growth of Guinness Draught and Guinness Zero.
The Belfast facility will see canning production more than double with a £24.5 million spend that will convert existing warehouses into a new packaging line capable of producing 72,000 cans per hour.
A further £16 million will be invested at the Runcorn site to upgrade the plant’s bottling line and expand warehousing capacity.
Diageo added that it is making the investment to meet demand for Guinness products from domestic and export markets, with the expansion set to support accelerated production and product innovation.
Construction is set to begin immediately with capacity at both facilities expected to come online in 2023.
Aidan Crowe, operations director for beer at Diageo, said, “This expansion is a significant investment in the development of our packaging facilities. The projects in Belfast and Runcorn will support our growth ambitions, helping us to deliver end-to-end product innovation, and reinforce our agility to meet demand and provide excellent service to our customers around the world.”
Stewart Hancock, operations manager at Diageo’s Runcorn site, added, “This is an exciting time for our site in Runcorn as we invest in our business to support the growth of our business. We contribute considerably to the local economy in Runcorn and the £16 million investment will further support our supply chains and local communities.”
Mike Amesbury, MP for Weaver Vale and local MP for the Runcorn Site, commented, “Diageo’s bottling and packaging plant in Runcorn is a significant part of the local economy and it is great news to see British businesses like Diageo investing in and expanding their facilities in the local area.”