42 new jobs have been announced at a new distillery and visitor centre just outside Ballynahinch.Economy Minister Diane Dodds today officially opened the new Hinch Distillery.£15 million of investment from the Department of the Economy was used in the 30,000sq ft facility, which is hoped to be a new tourist attraction.
The Hinch Distillery was established in 2016, and manufacturers gin and whiskey, which are exported to more than 25 countries around the world.When the business is finally able to open, 42 new employees will be employed across the production line and visitors centre.
Speaking after performing the official opening of the new facility, Economy Minister Diane Dodds said: “Since establishing in 2016, Hinch Distillery has experienced impressive growth. Through sheer hard work and determination, it has moved from idea stage to develop a range of products and grown to export its products to over 25 countries around the world.
“Invest Northern Ireland is helping the company achieve this ambitious growth strategy and is continuing to support and share its expertise with the opening of the distillery and immersive visitor centre. The creation of 42 new jobs as a result of this investment will contribute an additional £1.3million in additional annual salaries for the Northern Ireland economy.
“The visitor centre is an impressive new tourist attraction where visitors can learn about the distillation process used to produce the company’s products. Northern Ireland is known globally for our great hospitality along with the pure natural quality of our produce.
“Investments like these will help us sow the seeds of recovery and rebuild our economy following the impact of the pandemic. The hospitality and tourism industry has been especially impacted so I am delighted to be here today to be able to celebrate this investment, and I want to congratulate Terry and his team and wish them every success.”
Speaking about the completion of the project, owner Dr Terry Cross OBE said: “Today marks a very proud moment for myself and the team who have finally realised a blueprint that is set to make its mark on the Northern Ireland tourism map and the global drinks industry. We would like to thank Invest Northern Ireland for its support and guidance so far. Its financial support and marketing assistance has been instrumental in our success to date.
“Our Hinch range of Irish whiskies and Ninth Wave Irish Gin brand are already leaving an imprint on the international drinks market. In just one year since launch, we’ve secured distribution deals in more than 25 countries including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, the US, France and Germany, while many more partnerships with renowned drinks distributors elsewhere are in the pipeline.
“And despite being relative newcomers to the market we are making waves at revered awards events globally including a Double Gold and ‘Gin of the Year’ trophy for our Ninth Wave Irish Gin at the China Wine and Spirit Awards (CWSA). Being able to commence operations is just the beginning of our story. We look forward to celebrating our successful products at home, where they are made, and invite Northern Ireland to be part of that.”
Kevin Holland, CEO of Invest NI, said: “We are working with Hinch Distillery to help it grow its business, create jobs and rapidly grow its exports, and have offered it over £1.9million of support to date. Today’s opening is testament to our strong working relationship with the company in action. The distillery and visitor centre adds to Northern Ireland’s growing drinks tourism industry with its distinct product offering and guest experience. This is something that Terry and his team should all be proud of."