The new owners of Waterford Crystal are already planning to expand a flagship factory and visitor centre set to open later this year.
The world-renowned brand is to take over former ESB offices at The Mall in Waterford city as part of a €25 million redevelopment of the historic area.
WWRD, the company that bought over the glassmaker after its collapse last year, said it would stump up “several million” towards the site, but most of the cash will come from Waterford City Council.
Recruitment is to start in March for between 80 and 90 full-time workers — including about 20 highly-skilled blowers, shapers and cutters — while another 30 to 40 temporary staff will be taken on during the tourist season.
Anthony Jones, chief finance officer at WWRD, said if things work out as forecast, the company will be looking to expand further in the city centre.
“If our expectations are met or exceeded then of course we will look at what else can be done to increase our presence in the city,” he said. “In that regard we will also continue our discussions with Waterford City Council regarding a larger facility in the next three to four years, potentially to be located on the city's historic quays.”
The new plant, to open in June, will make around 40,000 pieces of the brand's most prestigious ranges every year — around a fifth of the company's estimated total production.
A tailor-made €800,000 furnace being built in Britain will run seven days a week.
A new visitor centre at the city centre plant will include a 1,000-square metre shop, which will house the largest collection of Waterford Crystal in the world.
WWRD has signed an eight-year lease on the 1.5-acre site with owners Waterford City Council.