Coca-cola site sold to NI man­u­fac­turer for new business base

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - BY JOHN MULGREW

A CO Antrim man­u­fac­turer is set to build and de­velop a new business base after buy­ing a for­mer Coca- Cola site out­side Lis­burn.

The huge 17.5 acre site, which was on the mar­ket for £3.75m, was bought by Uni­corn Group.

The com­pany man­u­fac­tures a range of goods, from med­i­cal and re­cy­cling bins to PVC floor tiles.

The business, which al­ready has sites in Lis­burn, and Mar­kethill in Co Ar­magh, has grown sales by more than 40% in the last two years.

It em­ploys around 74 staff across its three North­ern Ire­land busi­nesses. But the com­pany says it has also “re­cently re­cruited multi-lin­gual em­ploy­ees for its business de­vel­op­ment, sales, mar­ket­ing and prod­uct de­vel­op­ment teams”.

It’s cur­rently hir­ing five new roles.

Over the next six months the com­pany also says it plans to “re­lo­cate its head of­fice and ex­ist­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing sites in Lis­burn and Mar­kethill to the new lo­ca­tion”.

The for­mer Coca- Cola site was of­fi­cially opened in 1968 by Cap­tain Ter­ence O’neill, then Prime Min­is­ter of North­ern Ire­land.

The fac­tory was one of two plants used by the Coca- Cola Hel­lenic Bot­tling Com­pany to pro­duce the drink in Ire­land, un­til all pro­duc­tion was moved in 2008 to a larger fa­cil­ity on a 45-acre site at Knock­more Hill, Lis­burn.

The site was orig­i­nally placed on the mar­ket back in 2015.

Roger Pan­nell, manag­ing di­rec­tor of Uni­corn Group, said the com­pany is now “grow­ing our ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties and the Lam­beg site is an op­por­tu­nity for us to have all our business pro­duc­tion and ad­min­is­tra­tion in one lo­ca­tion”.

“This re­lo­ca­tion has the added ben­e­fit of pro­vid­ing ex­ist­ing and new staff the op­por­tu­nity to de­velop their ca­reers within the ex­panded business,” he con­tin­ued.

“We have strength­ened our ex­ist­ing work­force re­cently with a re­cruit­ment drive and are ex­cited about the fu­ture of our man­u­fac­tur­ing op­er­a­tions in North­ern Ire­land.

“The hard work and ded­i­ca­tion of our work­force has en­abled us make this step. In ad­di­tion to our own work­force, once the site is fully de­vel­oped, we will be en­cour­ag­ing small and large busi­nesses to join us at the re­fur­bished business park which will fur­ther en­hance jobs in the area.

“We’ve been ac­quir­ing busi­nesses for the past 20 years and have fo­cused on grow­ing our business and man­u­fac­tur­ing op­er­a­tions in North­ern Ire­land.

“Uni­corn Group is ac­tively look­ing for more busi­nesses to ac­quire.”

It has plans to re-de­velop the 266,470 sq ft prop­erty into a “multi-pur­pose business, ware­hous­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing cam­pus style business park opening the site up for rental op­por­tu­ni­ties to other busi­nesses”, Mr Pan­nell added.

The for­mer Coca- Cola site in­cludes ap­prox­i­mately 266,470 sq ft of in­dus­trial, stor­age and of­fice build­ings, to­gether with canopied load­ing bays.

The build­ings con­sist of qual­ity ware­hous­ing with an eaves height of 7.3m, which in­ter­links with the for­mer fac­tory.

The prop­erty sits on the banks of the River La­gan, with a brick wall along the bound­ary. At the south­ern and east­ern bound­aries is a 25ft grass-bank that sep­a­rates the site from the ad­join­ing green fields.

The site in­cludes the main ware­house, of­fice and for­mer pro­duc­tion ar­eas and a stand­alone ware­house sur­rounded by an ex­ten­sive con­creted open stor­age space, with an ad­di­tional car park­ing area be­yond.

A con­crete road net­work runs around the main build­ings lead­ing to and from the en­trance and exit points off Tul­ly­nacross Road.

Mark Robin­son, group com­mer­cial di­rec­tor, and Roger Pan­nell, manag­ing di­rec­tor of Uni­corn Group

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