The €6m (£5.2m) investment will allow the drinks manufacturer to increase production capacity at the plant by 20%.
The move comes as part of the firm’s bid to match the growing demand for Ballygowan mineral water, which is bottled at the factory. The added capacity, which includes the creation of 28 new manufacturing job roles, will allow for the production of an extra 50m bottles of water, as well as strengthening the site’s sustainability credentials.
Currently, Ballygowan water is packaged using 100% recycled and 100% recyclable plastic bottles, while the factory is now entirely operated using renewable energy. In 2021, the firm spent €2m (£1.7m) to replace its previously used bottles with rPET alternatives.
Ballygowan is the number one bottled water brand in Ireland and has been processed at the Newcastle West facility since 1984. As of September 2023, Britvic Ireland employs 55 people at the site, but that number is set to top 80 as a result of the investment.
In addition to Ballygowan, Britvic Ireland’s portfolio includes brands such as MiWadi, Pepsi, Club and TK.
Investment will ‘bring benefits to wider community’
Irish minister for enterprise, trade and employment, Simon Coveney TD, was present in Ballygowan to “congratulate” Britvic Ireland on an investment that will “support the growth, expansion, and sustainability credentials of one of Ireland’s best-known water brands”.
He continued: “I warmly welcome the creation of 28 new manufacturing roles at the facility, and the strategic investment in the sustainable, long-term production of Ballygowan mineral water.”
Meanwhile, Britvic Ireland managing director Kevin Donnelly added: “We are incredibly proud of this latest milestone in Ballygowan’s journey as Ireland’s most loved and leading bottled water brand, and the benefits this investment will return for Britvic Ireland and the wider community in Newcastle West.”