Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Engineering firm Whale invests £3m into research and development

Arlene Foster with Whale managing director Patrick Hurst MBE

A Bangor company is investing £3m in research and development projects at its new headquarters in Co Down.

Whale, also known as Munster Simms Engineering, designs and manufactures pumps, pipework, water heaters, space heaters, leisure cookers, taps, showers and accessories which can be found in boats, caravans, and recreational vehicles all over the world.

The company has three manufacturing sites, two in Bangor and one in California and holds 17 patents worldwide.

The two R&D projects will involve the company designing a new range of water and space heaters for the caravan and boat market, and further developing its pump and water system technology.

Invest Northern Ireland has offered a total of £961,765 of support towards the company's total investment of £3,205,885.

Whale's managing director, Patrick Hurst said that investing heavily in research and development and new premises will help keep the firm ahead of the pack.

"Our new head office will enable us to bring our innovative products to market faster, provide the much needed extra production space, to ensure the output keeps up with the ever increasing demand," he said.

"The global market is strategically very important to us and we must stay ahead of the competition. We are leaders in the marketplace and we can only be in that position through investing in research into new technologies and product development, like 3D printing, new types of software and wireless control systems.

"It is also important that we invest in our fantastic, motivated and talented workforce and tap into the high levels of skill in our local engineering graduates.

"Invest NI's support has helped us to grow the company and make it an international leader.

"We would also like to thank all who assisted us during the project, particularly Bank of Ireland, Magaffin Contracts Ltd., Brian Conway of Conway McBeth and Lisney for the support received."

Officially opening the new Whale headquarters, enterprise minister Arlene Foster said that the company places a high priority on innovation.

"These latest projects represent a step change in heating and water systems for the caravan and marine markets and offer the opportunity for Whale to become a supplier of choice for global manufacturers," she said.

"This will not only enhance the firm's reputation but also reinforce the excellent reputation of our engineering sector."

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