Waterford Crystal glass group (WWRD) have agreed a strategic partnership with Waterford City Council to build a new manufacturing facility, with retail outlet and visitor centre in the heart of Waterford City.
The council will retain full ownership of the site with Waterford Crystal looking after all aspects of the operational side.
It is anticipated that the facility will be open to the public in June 2010 and Waterford Crystal will employ 80 to 90 full time employees many of whom will be very skilled local craftsman.
The new Waterford Crystal Factory will hand produce approximately 40,000 pieces using traditional Crystal making techniques. The visitor centre will once again show the public the exquisite skills used in producing a piece of fine quality Hand Cut Lead Crystal glass – pieces of art that should be treasured for a lifetime.
Nigel Havens Comments:
At last some more positive news from Waterford Crystal. The old Waterford factory was one of the most visited and important tourist attractions in Southern Ireland. It was where the visitors from home and abroad were dazzled, quite literally, by the brilliance of the craftsmen who showed off their skills in producing high quality hand made crystal. It was here that they became converts and devotees to the brand and recognised the skills involved and therefore the value the glass represented.
The New Waterford Factory will reestablish those skills in the City, whose name is synonymous with the fine art of Crystal making. It will certainly ensure it’s position as a tourist destination and it is good that the City council have recognised this.
What we are most interested in are the products that they will be producing. We would like to think that they will hand make the iconic patterns of Waterford Colleen Wine Glasses and Lismore Wine Glasses along with a capsule range of Irish made giftware, along with their more prestigious works of art.
The rest of the ranges, as they are already doing, can be outsourced in quality crystal factories around the world. We once again await eagerly further information on the impact this large new investment will have on us their customers and you the consumer. Watch this space.