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Firm that rose from ashes of failed Mivan given £500k funding

By Yvette Shapiro

Published 09/09/2016

Mivan Marine did the fit out work for the dining car and one of the cabins on the Belmond Grand Hibernian train.
Mivan Marine did the fit out work for the dining car and one of the cabins on the Belmond Grand Hibernian train.
First Minister Arlene Foster with Mivan apprentice Matthew Patterson and factory manager Gary Moore

The new company formed after Antrim joinery business Mivan collapsed with the loss of almost 250 jobs has received almost £500,000 funding from Invest NI to help recruit staff.

Mivan was one of Northern Ireland's best-known companies and worked all over the world on specialist construction, joinery and fit-out contracts.

It closed in January 2014 after calling in administrators, and staff received only one week's statutory redundancy pay due to the company's insolvency.

Weeks later, Newry-based MJM Group acquired Mivan's premises, assets and trading name, and started to rebuild the business as Mivan Marine Ltd, taking on around 100 of the former Mivan employees.

Now it has added a further 65 staff, and 55 of those posts are supported by £495,000 in funding from the economic development agency Invest NI. Total employment at the firm now stands at 160.

A spokeswoman for Invest NI said: "The company, under new ownership, is rebuilding itself, winning new business and creating much-needed manufacturing jobs. This is absolutely good use of public money, providing vital new employment in the area."

First Minister Arlene Foster visited the Antrim factory yesterday and welcomed the company's growth.

"Mivan is an internationally renowned company and its resurgence to competitiveness with a healthy order book is a tremendous result for the manufacturing business and positive news for Antrim town and Northern Ireland," she said.

"Invest NI is working closely with the business to support the generation of much-needed employment opportunities.

"I welcome the recruitment (linked to) 65 new jobs, which will generate £1.8m in additional salaries and give Mivan the resources required to secure valuable new business."

Mrs Foster also met some of the company's 12 apprentices who are training in wood occupations, metal fabrication, estimating, design and more.

"Invest NI's funding is helping Mivan provide jobs for Antrim and the wider area," said chief executive Neil Ward.

"We are committed to offering secure employment that will help Mivan deliver current and future orders, alongside offering solid opportunities for career development."

Brian McConville, owner of parent company MJM Group, said the firm had achieved a 50% year-on-year growth in turnover in 2016 and had plans to continue that pace of growth over the next five years.

"Projects secured this year exceed £25m, giving us a strong order book for 2017 and beyond," he added. "We are confident that the business is in a secure and sustainable position to attract further orders from customers in line with our development plan."

Mivan has just completed a £2.5m contract to fit out the Belmond Grand Hibernian luxury train, which runs tours throughout Ireland. The company is also working in Puerto Rico, Grand Bahamas and Spain.

Belfast Telegraph

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