Category: Archive

Coke chooses Lisburn site

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The move ends months of speculation about the future of the company’s operations on both sides of the border. The availability of a good water supply plus good road links was critical to the decision.
The company assessed more than 60 locations on both sides of the border, including the site of the former Maze prison, before making up its mind. It currently has three plants in Ireland: in Lambeg in Co. Antrim, on the outskirts of west Dublin and at Greenore in Co. Louth.
The company will build a new plant at Lisburn’s Knockmore Hill, near its Lambeg operation, which will soon close.
Its decision to invest in Northern Ireland will mean up to 300 jobs losses in the Republic, but managing director Alfie Lydon said there was some good news for workers in the south, as half its 1,000-strong workforce would still be employed there.
The three Sinn Fein representatives whose constituencies are affected, Lagan Valley councillor, Paul Butler, Louth TD Arthur Morgan and Dublin South West TD Sean Crowe, issued a joint statement.
While welcoming its intention to invest huge sums over the next 18 months in Lisburn, it voiced concerns about job losses in Greenore and Clondalkin.
“Many workers in the two sites have given years of service,” it read. “They will understandably feel badly let down. It is imperative that the company provides the employees with opportunities to continue in their jobs at the new plant in Lisburn.”
The Lisburn MP, Jeffrey Donaldson, said it was a victory for Lisburn over Dublin.
“Lagan Valley continues to enjoy the lowest unemployment rate in Northern Ireland and the news today from Coca-Cola can only be a boost.”
SDLP Lagan Valley candidate, Patricia Lewsley, also welcomed the news.
“Ever since Coca Cola first indicated its intentions to consolidate operations north and south at a single site, I have campaigned hard for this area,” she said.
The beverage company, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., has strong Irish ties.
Coca-Cola Bottlers Ireland has operated the franchise to bottle Coca-Cola products since 1952. Coca-Cola Bottlers Ulster has held that franchise since 1938.
Last year, Downpatrick, Co. Down native E. Neville Isdell was tapped to become Coca-Cola’s chief executive.

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