Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Fine Gael TD for Kildare South Martin Heydon, has welcomed the grant of planning permission to Diageo for a €200m brewery in Newbridge by Kildare County Council.

The new brewery will be the first built by the company in Ireland since the 1960’s.

Minister Heydon said “Diageo’s plans for a carbon neutral brewery at a greenfield site in Littleconnell represents a massive investment in Kildare South. News that the planning has been granted by Kildare County Council is a significant step forward in the process.

“This brewery will create up to 1,000 jobs in the construction phase followed by 70 direct, high quality jobs once built with significant scope for further expansion.

“It highlights Kildare South as an ideal location for investment and employment. We have a talented, well educated workforce, many of whom commute to Dublin for work, and I am determined to help to deliver quality employment opportunities in Kildare.

“As Minister of State in the Department of Agriculture, I see huge potential in increasing the economic value of our food and drink sector.  I look forward to seeing Ireland’s first carbon neutral brewery come to fruition for the benefit of Kildare South.” concluded Minister Heydon.