Northern Ireland

Hinch Distillery: Whiskey and gin production set to create 40 jobs

A woman working in a gin distillery Image copyright Getty Images

The Northern Ireland businessman Terry Cross is planning to create 40 jobs with the development of a distillery in County Down.

He was majority shareholder in Delta Print, which was sold for £80m in 2016.

The Hinch Distillery will produce whiskey and gin from a 30,000 sq ft (2787 sq m) facility near Ballynahinch.

The scheme, which has planning approval and is expected to be completed in mid-2020, will include a visitor centre, restaurant, pub and event spaces.

It is being supported with a £1.9m grant from Invest Northern Ireland, the publicly-funded business development body.

'Highly differentiated product'

Distilling has undergone a major revival across Ireland during the past decade.

In 2010 there were just four distilleries in Ireland but by the start of 2019 the number had risen to 24.

Mr Cross said Irish whiskey had been the fastest growing spirit category in the world over the past 10 years and that trend is forecast to continue, while gin "still has huge potential to grow in markets where it is still a relatively small category".

He said the aim of the Hinch Distillery was "to provide visitors with a highly differentiated product and experience".

Mr Cross has experience in the drinks industry as he owns the Chateau de la Ligne vineyard in Bordeaux in France.

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