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Jobs created and £500k invested as local firm rises from Nortel ashes

By Margaret Canning

Published 30/07/2015

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell with Barry Mulhern of CMASS Ltd
Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell with Barry Mulhern of CMASS Ltd

A contract manufacturing company in Co Antrim is creating five new jobs as it makes a £500,000 investment in new machinery.

CMASS in Mallusk said its know-how has been built on the experience of ex-employees of former telecoms giant Nortel, which used to employ hundreds of people in Mallusk.

The company, which is a subsidiary of Ireland Freight Services, celebrated its fifth anniversary yesterday.

Six out of its seven directors worked at Nortel, with managing director Barry Mulhern spending 10 years at the North American business.

Around 200 people at the Mallusk base lost their jobs when Nortel went under in 2009 as the downturn took hold, but happily, many got jobs at CMASS.

The firm manufactures telecoms hardware but has also branched out into sectors including power, defence and aerospace industries.

The company has customers in Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and North America.

Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell said: "CMASS is a dynamic local company and I am pleased to be here to mark their fifth birthday.

"The investment of more than £500,000 by the company and the support offered by Invest NI, of a £62,933 capital grant, demonstrates a commitment to the future by this high-growth business.

"In its early days, CMASS provided labour-only production services, however through this latest investment... CMASS has developed into one of Northern Ireland's leading manufacturing services companies."

Services CMASS provide include assembly, product upgrade, system design, inspection and prototypes.

It also carries out work for telecoms companies, including staging, building and inspection for hardware, some of which involves the use of what the company calls "Nortel heritage product".

The Enterprise Minister added: "I know in recent years CMASS have performed strongly in export markets with a large proportion of sales being generated outside of Northern Ireland.

"It is envisaged this investment will help boost the company's growth and further enhance their competitive position in the global marketplace."

The investment means that CMASS now has electronic contract manufacturing, so that it can fully build electronic systems and provide printed circuit board assembly services.

Mr Mulhern said: "We are delighted to announce today that with Invest NI support we have developed this new capability that will underpin the creation of five new jobs.

"We have performed strongly in recent years with 90% of our sales being generated outside of Northern Ireland.

"We have invested heavily in the latest generation equipment and this was the final piece of the jigsaw to enable us to offer fully outsourced manufacturing services to our current and new customer base.

"This project elevates our status and in turn gives us the opportunity to increase our sales revenues outside of Northern Ireland and grow our exports on a global scale."

Belfast Telegraph

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