Northern Ireland manufacturers in £22M investment

By Matt Atherton contact

- Last updated on GMT

(From left to right) David Nicholl, NC Engineering; Alan Stewart, Marcon Fit-Out; Dave Smith, Principal Cooling; Alastair Hamilton, Invest NI; Stephen Kelly, Manufacturing NI; Joe McGirr, The Boatyard Distillery; Ross Armstrong, Armstrong Medical
(From left to right) David Nicholl, NC Engineering; Alan Stewart, Marcon Fit-Out; Dave Smith, Principal Cooling; Alastair Hamilton, Invest NI; Stephen Kelly, Manufacturing NI; Joe McGirr, The Boatyard Distillery; Ross Armstrong, Armstrong Medical

Related tags: Investment, Northern ireland

More than £22M has been invested in Northern Ireland manufacturing – including the food and drinks sector – creating 282 jobs.

The investment, supported by a £1.9M cash injection from investment group Invest NI, will support economic growth, and generate more than £6.3M a year in added manufacturing salaries. The coalition of manufacturers included six food and drink manufacturers.

Food and drink firms investing included McKeown Fine Foods, healthy foods maker Linwoods and gin manufacturer The Boatyard Distillery.

Invest NI chief executive Alastair Hamilton said: “These investments show real commitment from businesses to invest in the future. With investment in new equipment, skills and training, new jobs and export development, it is clear that there is real opportunity for growth in manufacturing.

Food and drink firms investing

  • McKeown Fine Foods
  • Linwoods
  • Crilly’s Sweets
  • Genesis Crafty
  • The Boatyard Distillery
  • Kettyle Irish Foods

‘Identifying new export opportunities’

“Growing and strengthening Northern Ireland’s manufacturing business base is core to our strategy. We continue to focus on growing local businesses, increasing investment, and identifying new export opportunities.”

Food and drink manufacturers, as well as those from the supply chain, pharmaceutical and chemical sectors, invested the £22M. The investments were already underway, and 100 jobs had already been created, said Invest NI.

Northern Ireland’s manufacturing sector generates annual sales of about £20bn, and exports more than £8bn of products. Manufacturing plays a “huge role”​ in the Northern economy, and directly employs about 80,000 people, said campaign organisation Manufacturing Northern Ireland.

‘Build and grow our business community’

Manufacturing Northern Ireland chief executive Stephen Kelly said: “Small and medium-size enterprises make up 98% of all businesses here in Northern Ireland, and are at the very heart of what we do in our manufacturing base. Week in, week out, companies like this continue to work very hard to keep moving forward, to build and grow our business economy and build communities.

“It is encouraging to see the progress and developments being made by firms across all disciplines. Invest NI is offering valuable support to enable these businesses to create highly skilled, well paid jobs and drive innovation and growth in export markets.”

Meanwhile, last month Invest NI launched a £169,000 project​ to attract more young people to the agri-food industry.

Northern Ireland manufacturing investment – at a glance

  • £22M investment
  • 282 jobs created
  • Investment from 30 companies

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