Down firm Gransden's £3.5m R&D spend to help build new business
A Co Down company has invested £3.5m in research and development (R&D) in a bid to improve its ability to make high-end components for the aerospace and car industries.
CCP Gransden has diversified from shipbuilding into manufacturing materials for a range of sectors.
The Ballygowan firm is now involved in a three-year project to develop lightweight composite components for export around the world.
Economy Minister Simon Hamilton said the company's investment had increased its potential to secure new business.
The project is supported by £977,000 from economic development agency Invest NI.
Jim Erskine, managing director of CCP Gransden, said: "Thanks to the crucial support from Invest NI we can now invest in developing a world-class advanced composite manufacturing process.
"This will enable us to deliver high-quality, high-value complex components that will not only meet customer needs, but enable us to win new business in growing markets. We've already begun up-skilling staff, and will be hiring additional staff with technical skills and business knowledge from a variety of sectors.
"The combination of the investment in the cell, a skilled workforce and the ongoing support of our Government puts CCP Gransden in an excellent position to grow and develop its business and the reputation of the advanced engineering sector here in Northern Ireland."
CCP Gransden specialises in the design and manufacture of advanced composites and thermoplastics for a number of industries.
The Economy Minister said: "This £3.5m investment by CCP Gransden is part of the company's continued focus on providing innovative high-quality components to compete efficiently in the global economy.
"It will enable the company to develop and manufacture a diverse range of composite components, utilising its new world class manufacturing facilities with the potential to secure new business across a range of diverse and high value sectors."
He said R&D was "critical to future economic growth".
A report last week said that Northern Ireland spending on R&D was at an all-time high between 2014 and 2015, climbing by 24% to reach around £749.7m.
The rate of growth between 2014 and 2015 was the highest increase of any UK region, with private sector business making up around 90% of the rise.