Whiskey production is set to return to Derry for the first time in more than 100 years as plans for a new distillery at Campsie have been given the green light.
Derry company Niche Drinks received planning approval for its plans to build a state-of-the art distillery to produce whiskey on the outskirts of the city to replace its current production plant at Rossdowney Road.
The company produces St Brendan’s Irish Cream Liqueur and is planning on moving into the whiskey market when it moves to its new premises.
The planning approval was welcomed by the councillors at the monthly meeting of Derry City Council’s planning committee on Tuesday.
SDLP councillor Gus Hasting said; “Any firm that is willing to take on a new project and create up to 250 jobs is to be welcomed.”
Sinn Féin councillor Lynn Fleming also welcomed the move. “I am glad to see this taking a step closer to fruition. All of the ingredients for the firm’s products are sourced locally so it is a great assistance to the local economy.
“It is also good to see whiskey distilling returning to the city after an absence of 100 years,” she said.
Chair of the planning committee, councillor Thomas Conway, said the development would provide a boost to the rural economy. “This is an important business for the agriculture sector. They source their milk locally for the liquor and will source the grain locally for the whiskey. It is a very welcome development,” he told councillors.
Ciaran Mulgrew from Niche Drinks also welcomed the planning approval. “It is a good step in the right direction for us and we are looking forward to relocating,” he said.
Mr Mulgrew also said, however, that the relocation is dependant on planning approval being granted for a change of use at its current site.