Plans have been announced for a €20m investment in a new distillery and visitors' centre in Drogheda.

It is expected the Boann Distillery and the associated visitor centre will employ up to 80 people when it opens next year.

It will include a whiskey distillery, Boyne Brewhouse craft brewery and a taproom. 

Drinks industry veteran Pat Cooney, formerly of the Gleeson Group, is the chief executive of the family-owned business behind the distillery. 

The investment is supported by Enterprise Ireland.

With plans to produce craft whiskey, gin and an innovative range of craft beers for the domestic and export market, craft beer production is already underway in the 50,000sq foot building.  

Drogheda was once home to 18 local distilleries, which slowly declined to just one by 1822. The last distillery eventually closed in 1968. 

"Today's announcement of 80 new jobs in Drogheda is a great boost for the town and the wider North-East region. Investments by Irish businesses have a massive knock-on impact on the local economy, through construction, supply and
service businesses," the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said.

"Boann Distillery is a great example of the type of company we are trying to support - an Irish company, operating at the cutting edge of its sector, focussed on selling its goods around the world, and creating jobs in a regional town," the Minister added. 

Julie Sinnamon, the CEO of Enterprise Ireland said that the agency has worked closely with the Boann Distillery in progressing its expansion and investment plans. 

"This is an ambitious and highly innovative company, with great potential to scale and grow rapidly in international markets from its base in Drogheda," she added.