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Diageo plans to expand Guinness Storehouse

Diageo has announced plans for a €16m expansion at the Guinness Storehouse, which will see its Gravity Bar double in size.

Upon completion, the expansion will enhance the visitor experience, allowing the Guinness Storehouse to continue to provide a tourism product, providing visitors with an immersive Guinness experience. Subject to planning permission, it is hoped that construction will commence in 2018 and will welcome visitors by 2019.

Paul Carty, managing director, Guinness Storehouse said: “The Guinness Storehouse has become part of Dublin. It is the number one visitor attraction, and is a must-see and must-do experience; celebrated by the staff, by tourism in Ireland and by the people of Ireland. Staying ahead of the game, innovating and constantly investing has enabled us to provide a world-class experience of one of Ireland’s most iconic brands with huge international demand. We are now excited to reveal the next chapter of the Guinness Storehouse, the expansion of the magnificent Gravity Bar.”

The plans involve the creation of a new 360 degree space – which will directly link to the original Gravity Bar – which can hold up to 500 people at any one time, doubling the current capacity. The Guinness Storehouse and existing Gravity Bar will remain open as normal during the construction period.

In addition to the expanded Gravity Bar, the Guinness Storehouse Hub, a new facilities building, directly adjacent to the Guinness Storehouse building is also included in the plans. This three storey building will provide additional space for the Guinness Archives, chronicling the history of Guinness over 257 years, along with retail storage and employee hub.

The €16 million investment in the Guinness Storehouse further demonstrates Diageo’s commitment to the Liberties area of Dublin and the St. James’s Gate site. It follows the announcement earlier this year of the launch of new  blended Irish whiskey, Roe & Co. in the former Power Station at St. James’s Gate. The total project investment for Roe & Co is planned at €25 million over three years.

Carty continues: “This is an enormously exciting step in future-proofing the Guinness Storehouse. We are very proud of its success and our expansion plans are devised to enhance the experience that we offer to our visitors who come from all over the world to learn more about the iconic Guinness stout, savour amazing food in our restaurants and experience the best views of the city and surrounds from Gravity Bar.”

Paul Kelly, CEO, Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority says: “This is a very exciting development for tourism in Dublin and a great vote of confidence in the future of the tourism sector from the Storehouse and Diageo. Compelling visitor experiences are central to attracting tourists to our shores and, to stay competitive and grow visitor numbers, it is imperative that we continuously improve our country’s suite of visitor attractions. The Guinness Storehouse is one of Ireland’s leading attractions and an iconic destination which almost everybody who comes to Dublin will seek out and I very much welcome today’s development – it’s great for tourism and it’s great for Dublin.”

20 July 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor