Official opening of new £15m distillery and visitor centre

Official opening of new £15m distillery and visitor centre

7 April 2021

THE new £15m Hinch Distillery and visitor centre has been officially opened.

Located just outside Ballynahinch, the multi-million pound 30,000 sq ft development has created 42 new jobs and, in addition to providing a significant boost for the local economy, is set to become a leading tourist attraction.

Currently exporting a range of products including whiskey and gin to 25 countries across the globe, the growth of the new business has received many accolades.

Business owner Dr Terry Cross says last week’s official opening marks a proud moment for him 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.

He thanked Invest NI for its financial support and guidance so far, explaining that the organisation has been instrumental in Hinch Distillery’s 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,” continued Dr Cross.

“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.”

Dr Cross said that despite being “relative newcomers” to the market, Hinch Distillery is 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.

Dr Cross added: “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.”

The new distillery and visitor centre was opened by Stormont economy minister Diane Dodds.

She said that since opening in 2016, the distillery has experienced impressive growth and that through sheer hard work and determination, has moved from the idea stage to develop a range of products and grown to export its products globally.

She said Invest NI is helping the company achieve its 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,” continued Mrs Dodds.

“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.”

The economy minister said that investments like the Hinch Distillery help us sow the seeds of recovery and rebuild the economy following the impact of the pandemic. 

“The hospitality and tourism industry has been especially impacted so I am delighted to celebrate this investment and I want to congratulate Dr Cross and his team and wish them every success,” she added.

Invest NI chief executive Kevin Holland said the organisation is working with Hinch Distillery to help it grow its business, create jobs and rapidly grow its exports, and have offered almost £2m of support to date.

He said the official opening of the distillery and visitor centre is “testament to our strong working relationship with the company in action”.

Mr Holland added: “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.”