First Minister attends opening of Finnebrogue Artisan food processing facility

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Finnebrogue Artisan marked the start of a new era, with the official opening of a new £25 million processing facility.

The theme of the event very much being fun with food with some amazing chefs in attendance and foodie masterclasses for guests.

Finnebrogue Artisan is renowned for its progressive and highly innovative food business. They live and breathe innovation, ‘where great ideas make extraordinary things happen’ says a plaque that has been outside the original site since it opened in 2002.

The business has benefited from a range of assistance from Invest Northern Ireland, over the last three years to support its job creation and marketing activities as well as a capital grant towards its new processing facility.

Finnebrogue’s Chairman Denis Lynn said: “It was always my plan within the new build to automate wherever possible, to remove people from mundane tasks, so we could invest heavily in people in roles that truly make a difference to the product quality to support our phenomenal growth. I was also determined to build a facility where the ancillary areas such as the Roof Garden café, were a delight for the team to spend time in.”

As well as a highly efficient modern processing facility, a food development centre was constructed at the heart of the building, housing a Creative Kitchen, Sensory Panelling area and full scale pilot plant validating the businesses commitment to creating amazing food.

Speaking at the official opening of the new facility, First Minister Arlene Foster said: “I am delighted to be here today to endorse Finnebrogue Artisan’s well deserved and long standing reputation for quality and innovation.Their dedication to excellence has ensured that they are now a very highly respected major player in the UK food industry.

“This new £25million state of the art facility will give Finnebrogue additional capacity to build upon its success in terms of new product development and sales outside Northern Ireland. By continually innovating and developing premium products, Finnebrogue, with the support of Invest NI, has been able to respond to new market trends and opportunities across the UK.

“Finnebrogue is a real success story for Northern Ireland. I commend Denis Lynn for his tireless work to build this successful business and I look forward to seeing what the next chapter has in store for this highly regarded company.”

Also present at the opening, Kenton Hilman, Head of Corporate and Property Banking at Ulster Bank, welcomed the announcement.

He said: “Finnebrogue Artisan is a strong example of Northern Ireland’s pioneering development in the field of agri-food. Their devotion to quality and innovation has provided them with considerable success as one of NI’s fastest growing businesses.

“Our commitment to supporting sustainable ambition means that we, at Ulster Bank, are delighted to be able to play our part in assisting with their continued growth.”

Denis, his wife Christine and the board welcomed friends and colleagues old and new from UK retail and restaurant customers, suppliers, local schools, colleges and importantly local government representatives that have supported the business over the last 21 years. All of these people and businesses continue to provide a foundation for future growth, further harnessing the relationships made along the way. Denis and his team are clearly excited about the next chapter. Innovative food is clearly in their lifeblood.