Belfast Distillery Company launches new J&J McConnell’s Distillery and Visitor Centre
Belfast Distillery Company was joined by a trio of NI Government Ministers last week as the £22.3 million project was formally launched at Crumlin Road Gaol. Economy Minister Gordon Lyons, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey and Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd welcomed the investment which includes plans to regenerate the A Wing of the Gaol into the J&J McConnell’s Distillery and world-class visitor experience, and to create 49 new jobs.
The Department for Communities and Invest Northern Ireland have provided a combined £1.9million of support towards the project.
John Kelly, CEO of Belfast Distillery Company, said: “We launched McConnell’s Irish Whisky in 2020 and we have already achieved significant success in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and China. In our home market, we are having great success with our product to date, experiencing significant support from our trade partners in hospitality and retail sectors.
“The J&J McConnell’s Distillery and Visitor Experience will become the home of our brand and will help us to take our business to the next level in the global whiskey market. The support we have received from across government has been vital to making this ambition a reality for us. We are truly delighted to be developing our distillery in north Belfast and look forward to working with and supporting our local community with employment opportunities. We look forward to helping our great city grow and develop in the years ahead.”
Making the joint announcement, Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said: “This multi-million pound investment will see the transformation of this historic Belfast building and create 49 new jobs, contributing over £1.7million of additional annual salaries into the local economy.
“The global Irish whiskey industry has trebled in size over the last decade, and Belfast Distillery Company is already a great addition to the sector. The J&J McConnell’s Distillery and Visitor Experience will boost our economy as both an export business and a tourism offering.”
The distillery will extend over three floors offering 1,000 sq. m. of distilling floor-space and 1,700 sq. m. for the visitor centre, with plans to host over 100,000 visitors each year. Visitor experiences will include whiskey tours, cocktail masterclasses, a tasting bar and shop.
Job opportunities are available at various levels across sales, marketing, operations, hospitality and finance.
For more, visit mcconnellsirishwhisky.com.