Saturday 21 September 2019

Last orders for brewery as sale looms

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

The closure of the iconic Guinness brewery at St James's Gate in Dublin could be one step closer after drinks giant Diageo appointed three sets of consultants to oversee the sale of the prestigious Dublin site.

The move away from the city centre could net Diageo a windfall of up to €3bn for the 56-acre plot.

A number of locations have been mooted as possible sites for a new state-of-the-art brewery -- among them a greenfield site in Balbriggan, north Co Dublin, and a 100-acre tract of land near the home of the Guinness family in Leixlip, Co Kildare.

Guinness has been brewed at St James's Gate since 1759 and there are currently some 500 million litres of the black stuff produced there each year, accounting for about 40pc of its total global production.

It is believed that, given the age of the buildings, it is more cost efficient to sell most of the site and construct a new facility elsewhere.

Guinness would still keep a foothold in the city centre, however, particularly the Guinness Storehouse, the country's most popular tourist attraction.

Reports say three consultant firms have been instructed to oversee the redevelopment of the site, among them Ove Arup, a global design group, architects RKD and quantity surveyors Bruce Shaw Partnership.

However, Dublin city councillors last month passed a motion stating that it was a "key objective" of the council to retain the brewery at St James's Gate.

According to some, this could restrict future development at the site, thereby reducing its market value.

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