Lurgan firm Classic Mineral Water creates 16 jobs as it boosts growth through £3.4m investment to increase productivity

Lurgan-based Classic Mineral Water has made a £3.4m investment to develop a third bottling line that will enable the production of isotonic beverages for the private label market for the first time on the island of Ireland.

The investment – which could potentially result in a 70 per cent increase in turnover – is creating 16 jobs.

The Lurgan company manufactures a variety of products including still and sparkling water, flavoured waters, mixers, Isotonic and glucose drinks, and is one of only two firms in Northern Ireland and four on the island of Ireland to hold mineral water status.

The move follows significant investments in recent years, which have seen Classic Mineral Water increase capacity and efficiency and reduce production costs.

Liam Duffy, CEO and Owner, Classic Mineral Water and John Hood, Director of Food & Drink, Invest NI. Picture: Press Eye.Liam Duffy, CEO and Owner, Classic Mineral Water and John Hood, Director of Food & Drink, Invest NI. Picture: Press Eye.
Liam Duffy, CEO and Owner, Classic Mineral Water and John Hood, Director of Food & Drink, Invest NI. Picture: Press Eye.

Liam Duffy, CEO and owner of Classic Mineral Water, said: “Through investment in innovative technology and skills we have transformed Classic Mineral Water into a high-speed, state-of-the-art, soft drink processing facility and have achieved a six-fold increase in sales to £12million in just a few years.

"This latest investment, which includes the installation of a new pasteurisation system, supports our next growth phase, enabling us to respond to market demand for high-value isotonic products. We are confident that this will push our overall sales up significantly, reaching over £20m by 2024, and vastly increase our productivity.”

The investment will create 16 jobs, bringing the company’s total employment figure to 76, with 10 of the new jobs already in place.

It was supported by a capital grant from Invest Northern Ireland, which has worked closely with Classic Mineral Water over a number of years, providing a range of financial and non-financial support.

This has included strategic advice and guidance, access to leadership programmes, consultancy support, and assistance with resource efficiency, job creation and management information systems.

John Hood, Director of Food & Drink, Invest NI, said: “This investment has enabled Classic Mineral Water to manufacture a high value-added product and to increase output and productivity.

"It positions it strongly to increase sales into Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, potentially resulting in a 70 per cent increase in turnover.

"Through a range of support, Invest NI has helped the company to develop the infrastructure, expertise and support systems that are essential to enable it to realise its vision of becoming a major player in export markets.”

Classic Mineral Water is the oldest water bottling company on the island of Ireland and is an approved supplier of Aldi, Lidl, Dunnes Stores, Musgraves, Bestways and Tesco. It recently announced that it has signed a new £3.8m deal with Aldi Ireland.

Invest Northern Ireland works with individuals, companies and organisations in manufacturing and tradable services which show the ambition and commitment to grow by being more innovative, more entrepreneurial and more internationally focused.

Invest NI’s resources are focused on assisting our clients to improve competitiveness, increase innovation, promote a stronger international focus and create more positive attitudes to enterprise.

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Its full range of support and services are delivered through local offices in Belfast, Coleraine, Ballymena, Craigavon, Londonderry, Newry, Enniskillen and Omagh, and an international office network.

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