Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy, led a one-day trade visit to Liverpool. The visit, organised by Enterprise Ireland, will further strengthen Ireland’s relationship with the North West of England and in particular, Liverpool City Region which is home to the UK base of a growing number of Irish companies.
The UK remains Ireland’s largest export market, with Enterprise Ireland companies exporting to the value of €7.5bn in 2020. Liverpool and the wider North West region are particularly important, having a strong presence of Irish companies across a range of sectors and capabilities. This visit aimed to highlight the commitment of Ireland and Irish companies to Liverpool and the North West and will explore opportunities for growth in the region.
The delegation and Enterprise Ireland client companies visited the Port of Liverpool and UK ports operator Peel Ports, which will facilitate an opportunity for the companies to consider and explore business opportunities in the ports sector. The Liverpool City Region was selected as one of eight new freeport sites by the UK government March 2021.
The day also included a visit to two Enterprise Ireland companies operating in Ellesmere Port and St. Helens.
CRS Refrigeration: The visit marks the official opening of CRS Refrigeration’s new Ellesmere Port site. This is the company’s second site in the UK, having already established a site in Bedfordshire. This expansion allows CRS Refrigeration to deliver their services and solutions faster to their UK customers, with the site holding existing stock ready for long-term hire. The site will serve as a manufacturing, distribution and servicing hub, and act as a base for the on-call service team throughout the UK.
John Tyrrell, Managing Director at CRS Refrigeration said, “the UK has always been an important market for CRS. We’ve been doing business in the UK for many years and opening a new UK facility is a natural next step in our growth journey. The new premises will also facilitate more investment in engineering capability for specialist products and will support enterprise level customers for complex temperature-controlled solutions.”
Bevcraft Group: Bevcraft Group is a ‘craft can’ business first established in Mullingar which now includes operations across Ireland, the UK and the Netherlands and handles over 50m cans per annum. Bevcraft provides a range of services including mobile contract canning, can distribution, can decoration, testing, servicing and training. All services are unbundled so that craft beverage producers can ‘pick and mix’ the options that suit them.
Bevcraft Group opened a location in St. Helens in Merseyside in 2019 to serve and grow its UK customer base. The company has now announced the opening of a new £5m advanced manufacturing unit in Peterborough where Bevcraft Group will operate the very first direct-to-can digital printing plant in Europe.
Ciarán Gorman, Group Co-Founder and CFO at Bevcraft said, “entering the UK market is undoubtedly the best decision we have ever made. Two years ago, we were almost entirely focused on the Irish market – whereas in 2021 we will for the first time ever, see the majority of our revenues come from international markets.”
“A big part of this success has come from choosing the right location to establish an initial presence. Merseyside offered the perfect mix. It is very accessible from Ireland, has a competitive cost base relative to the rest of the UK and in its own right there are more people living within an hour of our warehouse than in all of Ireland.”
Commenting on the trade visit, Minister Robert Troy said, “Ireland continues to be a committed partner to the UK, and to the trading relationships that exist between our two nations. Our historical and cultural ties are strong in Liverpool and the North West of England, and this visit demonstrates Ireland’s ongoing commitment to the region.”
“Ireland has built on its representation here recently, with Enterprise Ireland now having an office in Manchester, and the opening of the Consulate for the North of England earlier this year. The Irish government encourages Irish companies to consider how they can work with UK businesses and authorities in the North West region to achieve their ambitious goals in transport, infrastructure and sustainability through their innovative capabilities and solutions.”