Belfast Telegraph

Funding puts fizz into drinks group

A contract bottling company is set for future growth after securing £11.5m in funding from one of the UK's biggest banks.

Norbev in Ballymena has reached the new arrangement with Santander. The firm, which employs 85 people, said the finance would enable it to free up working capital in order to grow sales and even come up with new products.

The company blends and bottles drinks for customers from Coca-Cola to pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, which also makes Lucozade. It was set up over 90 years ago by the grandfather of current owner James Harkness as Braid Mineral Water, and sold lemonade from a cart.

The business expanded dramatically when it began bottling for Coca-Cola in 1973.

Mr Harkness took over in 1995 and has since diversified and increased its customer base.

Belfast Telegraph