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Co Armagh firm to triple workforce after £3.7 million investment

Classic Spring Lurgan
Pictured (L-R) are Liam Duffy, CEO and owner of Classic Mineral Water and John Hood, Director of Food & Drink, Invest NI

Lurgan-based Classic Mineral Water is investing over £3.7 million in its soft drink manufacturing company, to drive business growth. This will create 39 new jobs, almost tripling the company’s current workforce.

The company plans to utilise this investment to increase capacity and efficiency across the business, to help increase sales from current levels of £2.5m to £10m over the next 3-4 years. It also has plans to create an international company presence and significantly grow its sales in Ireland and Great Britain.

Invest Northern Ireland has offered £550,000 of support towards the capital investment.

Specialising in flavoured water, tonics, plain water, lemonades and water coolers, the company, established in 1948, is the oldest water bottling company in Ireland. As the first company in Northern Ireland to achieve Mineral Water Status, it has built up expert knowledge, skills and experience that has allowed for this new growth to become possible.

John Hood, Director of Food & Drink, Invest NI, said: “This investment will allow the company to build on fresh opportunities within the sector and capitalise on the growth of the bottled soft drink business across Ireland and Europe. Along with creating 39 jobs, Classic Mineral Water is introducing new innovative technology to reduce costs and streamline production processes.

“As well as providing financial support we have worked closely with the company, providing strategic advice and guidance. This access to leadership programmes, consultancy support and strategic advice, ensures the company has the skills and knowledge to maximise this investment. I wish the company success as it grows sales and profitability.”

The new roles include opportunities in administration, sales, maintenance and production and will lead to additional salaries of £785,200 per year in the NI economy.

Liam Duffy, CEO and owner, Classic Mineral Water, said: “We have over 70 years of expertise within the market. We plan to expand on this through innovation and development, delivering growth in export markets by increasing capacity and efficiency, alongside reducing production costs.

“Invest NI’s support means we can make the investment quicker and respond to market demand for new products. We are also able to expand our team in Lurgan, developing a strong skillset to help our company succeed as a major competitor in export markets.”

The company works with high-end retail customers including Tesco, Dunnes Stores, SuperValu, Mace, Centra, Spar and Eurospar.

Invest NI’s support is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014–2020.

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