Christmas cheer flows in the east

Jorges Lopes, Diageo country director at Marshall's Road with production manager Gary Simpson
Jorges Lopes, Diageo country director at Marshall's Road with production manager Gary Simpson

Christmas cheer is literally flowing in east Belfast as Diageo’s Marshalls Road bottling plant notches up a record year for production.

The canning and bottling facility has packaged record volumes of beer in the run up to Christmas and holiday season.

The site, which employs 136 people, and supports many other local businesses that supply it, produced 12.5 million cases of beer in the financial year ending June 2015, the largest volumes ever packaged at the site.

“All of our people at Belfast Packaging are proud to be setting production records and playing such an important role in supplying our home and international markets with Diageo’s great range of beers, including Guinness, Harp and Smithwick’s,” said production manager Gary Simpson.

“The ‘Manufacturing Excellence ’programme of continuous performance improvement will ensure that our site in East Belfast is ready and able to meet increased production levels as new innovations and the improvement in the overall beer market drives more demand.”

The site has been operating in East Belfast for over 30 years, with some 60% of output supplying local markets in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic and 40% supplying the rest of the UK or being exported to Europe, North America and Asia.

Up to two million cans and bottles of beer per day are filled and packaged there.

MP for the area Gavin Robinson and MLA Robin Newton recently visited the site for a briefing on the development programme.

“East Belfast has a strong and cherished history of manufacturing some of the world’s greatest products and Diageo significantly adds to that long standing heritage,” said Mr Robinson.

“The level of production at Marshall’s Road and Diageo’s ongoing investment is a boost not only for East Belfast but for Northern Ireland plc.”