Mulrines is to make a substantial investment in a new drinks and liquid food manufacturing facility at Sion Mills.
One of Ireland’s fastest growing indigenous food and drink businesses Mulrines is investing significantly in a new drinks and liquid food manufacturing facility in Northern Ireland.
The fourth-generation family business includes apple orchards, juice pressing, blending, and the production of fruit juices, fruit drinks and plant-based beverages, for the retail, wholesale and food service sectors in the Republic of Ireland, UK and other markets.
“The construction of the new factory capacity and the resulting new jobs are just the first phase of our investment in Sion Mills”
The company has purchased 22 acres of the former Herdmans site at Sion Mills and is renovating existing buildings to create a large-scale manufacturing facility. The new factory will produce oat drink and fruit juice products and will create 54 new jobs in the first three years.
Innovation at its core
“This project is the culmination of a number of years of research, planning and negotiation. Invest NI has worked with us throughout,” said Peter Mulrine, chair of Mulrines.
“The UK plant-based beverage market is experiencing year-on-year growth and this new factory will provide an opportunity for us to enter the fast-growing oat drink market. It also offers additional capacity for our core fruit juice and beverage business.
“As a business we are focused on sustainability. All our packaging planned for the Sion Mills site is made from fibre board, a renewable source and is fully recyclable. We recognise and are encouraged by the benefits of oat drink which leaves a far smaller carbon footprint than dairy milk.
“The construction of the new factory capacity and the resulting new jobs are just the first phase of our investment in Sion Mills. The additional production capacity offers a significant opportunity for us to deliver additional fruit juice sales across our existing and new markets. As a result of increased production, we are likely to need additional storage which will form the basis of our second phase of investment in the facility.”
Mel Chittock, Interim CEO, Invest Northern Ireland said: “This project will see the former Herdmans site brought back to life after nearly 20 years, creating new employment in the area and delivering significant local supply chain benefits.
“The company plans to create the 54 new jobs by 2026. The roles include operatives, administrators, team supervisors, maintenance and logistics. With average salaries in the mid £20k range, the roles offer great opportunities in the area.”
Once in place the new roles will deliver nearly £1.4m in annual salaries to the local economy. Invest NI has offered support towards the creation of the roles, with funding provide once the jobs are in place.
“We are pleased that our support has helped secure this investment for Northern Ireland. Sion Mills is one of Northern Ireland’s most historical industrial sites and we are delighted the company has chosen it as the location for this new factory”, added Mel.
The roles on offer will provide opportunities for people not currently in employment or those looking for a change. All new starts will undergo a comprehensive training programme and have the opportunity to progress their careers with Mulrines.