Belfast Telegraph

Firm raises glass to doubling workforce

By Clare Weir

A Co Londonderry company has created 40 new jobs through a £1m expansion project.

Fire Glass Direct Ireland Ltd in Magherafelt was established in 2004 and the new posts will bring the company's total staff count to 77.

The firm produces fire and safety glass, providing mirrors, double glazed units, office partitions and movable walls.

Over the last few years the company has developed a range of new products including toughened glass and Mediglaze, which is used in critical care and isolation units for the medical and health industries.

Invest Northern Ireland has offered Fire Glass Direct £160,000 of support through its Jobs Fund, which has a budget of £19m to support the creation of 4,000 jobs by March 2014.

The Jobs Fund is part of Invest NI's Boosting Business initiative and has been developed in response to the economic downturn in order to help businesses accelerate new job creation and boost employment. The Jobs Fund support has had a positive and immediate impact with Fire Glass Direct having already created 34 of the planned 40 new jobs.

Seamus O'Connor, director of Fire Glass Direct, said that the cash injection has helped to double the company's workforce.

"This investment marks a major expansion for us and is a reflection of our confidence in the potential of our new products to significantly increase our turnover and market reach," he said.

"Invest NI's support is allowing us to put the jobs in place quickly and therefore take advantage of market opportunities."

Des Gartland, manager of Invest NI's north west regional office, added: "This investment marks the next step in the company's strategic plan to substantially increase sales and consolidate its position in the market. Its new products, which were developed with Invest NI's support, have opened up more avenues of opportunity for it and demonstrate that even in difficult economic conditions companies can succeed by constantly innovating and seeking out new markets outside Northern Ireland.

"These new skilled jobs are very welcome in mid-Ulster where the construction sector in particular has been badly hit by the economic downturn."

40

The number of new jobs being created by Fire Glass Direct

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