There was good news yesterday with the announcement that Coca-Cola plans to invest €26 million in its Ballina operation. The investment will see an additional 25 jobs created in the north Mayo facility over the next three years. The announcement was made by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer, The Coca-Cola Company.
The capital investment further strengthens the company’s commitment to Ireland as the Ballina facility becomes the first production site for the company’s innovative Freestyle technology outside of the United States. The Coca-Cola Freestyle patented technology is a touchscreen soda fountain which was first introduced by the company in the US in 2010. The dispenser features more than 165 different Coca-Cola beverage choices from across the company’s full product range.
Speaking about the investment, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said yesterday: “The €26 million investment announced by Coca-Cola in their Ballina operations today is a significant vote of confidence by the company in Ireland and Mayo itself. Coca-Cola have been an important element of the local economy and significant employer in Mayo since 2000, and across Ireland for over six decades. Today’s announcement is a further vote of confidence in the western region by a major multinational company.
“The Government is determined to drive investment and job growth all over Ireland and today’s announcement is very welcome," Mr Kenny added. "Over the past year unemployment has fallen across every region in the country and this Government, through the Regional Action Plan for Jobs, will continue to ensure that the benefits of a rising economy are felt in every region of Ireland. Our recovery plan has seen a substantial improvement in the west of Ireland with over 5,000 jobs created since 2011 in Enterprise Ireland and IDA supported companies."
Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer for The Coca-Cola Company, said: “I am delighted to be in Ballina today to make this important announcement about further investments in our Irish operations. The Coca-Cola Company has a long history of investment and employment in Ireland having first located operations in Northern Ireland in 1934. The Coca-Cola system now employs 1,750 people across six locations in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Today’s investment further underpins our commitment, with Ballina now involved in the production of our innovative Freestyle technology, facilitating its expansion into other key European markets and offering more choice to our consumers.
"We are delighted to be in a position to further invest here and to support the Government’s job creation and growth strategy for the economy. The success we have long enjoyed in Ireland is thanks both to the support of the Government and its agencies as well as to the talent of our teams working throughout the country.”
CEO of IDA Ireland, Martin Shanahan, said: “It’s excellent news that Coca-Cola is investing €26 million in its Ballina plant to allow the production of its Freestyle technology here. It demonstrates real commitment by the company to its Mayo operations and is a strong endorsement of Ballina and the region as a suitable location for this type of manufacturing, and the 25 new jobs being created in Ballina will be a further boost to the region.”