Global glassmaker to invest $71M in Randolph County plant

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A global container-making firm that employs 400 people in Winchester plans to make $71 million in improvements to its glass-manufacturing facility there, aided by a slew of incentives from state and area economic development groups.

Ardagh Group Glass North America, a division of Luxembourg-based Ardagh Group, announced Tuesday that it plans to make the upgrades to the 78-year-old facility over three years.

“This level of investment in a single glass-manufacturing facility in such a brief period of time is unprecedented for Ardagh Group and extremely rare in our industry,” John Riordan, CEO of Ardagh Group Glass North America, said in a prepared release.

Built in 1937, the facility specializes in manufacturing glass containers for the food and spirits markets. The plant was owned by Tampa, Florida-based Anchor Glass Container Corp. before Ardaugh Group purchased the company for $880 million in August 2012.

Incentive agreements for the project include a $6.1 million tax abatement over 10 years from the city of Winchester and a grant of $300,000 for local equipment purchases and training of employees associated with the project from the Randolph Economic Development Corp.

In addition, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered up to $1 million in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants, according to Ardagh.

Although there are no pending plans to hire more workers at the plant, Ardagh will retain the 400 worker it already employs, said Bruce Hosier, REDC’s executive director. Ardagh is the second-largest employer in Randolph County.

“These kinds of opportunities don’t come along often, if at all, for rural communities, so we’re pleased to have the opportunity,” Hosier said.  

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