- Investment will expand capacity at beer packaging facilities in Belfast and Runcorn and support growth in demand for Guinness
- Work to begin immediately with new capacity expected to be available in 2023
01 APR 2022 – Diageo is making a £40.5m investment to expand capacity at its packaging facilities in Belfast, Northern Ireland and Runcorn, England, which is set to support the growth of Guinness Draught and Guinness Zero.
The facility in Belfast will see its canning production more than double with a £24.5m investment that will convert existing warehouses into a new state-of-the-art packaging line capable of producing 72,000 cans per hour. A further £16m will be invested at the Runcorn site to significantly upgrade its bottling line and expand warehousing capacity.
Diageo is making the investment to meet global demand for Guinness products from domestic and export markets, with the expansion set to support accelerated production and product innovation. It will enhance efficiency and competitiveness at both sites. Construction is set to begin immediately with capacity at both facilities expected to come online in 2023.
Commenting Aidan Crowe, Operations Director for Beer at Diageo, stated: “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.”
Belfast Packaging is a 12 acre site situated in East Belfast. It has been operating for over 30 years, formerly as Irish Bonding. It has approximately 150 direct employees. The site produces over 20 brands, including Guinness Draught, Extra Stout and Foreign Extra Stout, Harp, Hop House 13, Smithwick’s and Rockshore. Key markets are on the island of Ireland, USA, Canada, Korea and Continental Europe. The site operates 24/7 and is supplied with beer from St. James Gate brought to the site in bulk tankers, which each hold up to 30,000 litres of beer.
Diageo’s Runcorn packaging plant celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020 and it serves the GB and export markets in can, bottle and keg formats. There are around 200 employees on the 18 acre site and it operates on a 24/7 basis. Runcorn is well positioned to service the GB market, within an hour from the port at Liverpool and with very easy links to M6 north and south along with the M56 and M62 corridor.
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.
Diageo is a global company whose products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO). For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives and ways to share best practice.