416 jobs created by healthcare firm
A Japanese global healthcare company is creating 416 jobs in Northern Ireland.
Terumo BCT manufactures products used in the treatment and transfusion of blood at its plant in Larne, Co Antrim. It will expand into research and development (R&D) there for the first time.
Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe hailed Northern Ireland as a "treasure trove of challenge, openness and innovation" during a visit to Belfast following the G8 summit.
Troy Deppey, a senior executive at Terumo BCT, said: "The capability of the Larne facility is renowned throughout the company and our global markets so I am delighted that, with Invest NI's support, we can grow this facility and really cement our presence here.
"Global demand for our products is increasing and the R&D activities in particular will enable us to tap into the skills and research base in order to develop new products and processes that will increase competitiveness and maintain our reputation for quality excellence."
The business has been in Larne for more than nine years and employs 260 people. It has plants in the US, Japan, India, Belgium and China, employing 4,700 people worldwide.
The new jobs will include positions involving entry-level manufacturing, scientific, microbiology, chemistry and engineering as more equipment is introduced.
Terumo BCT is headquartered in Colorado and is a member of the Terumo Group family of companies owned by the Japanese-based Terumo Corporation. The new jobs are supported with more than £2 million from Government job creation agency Invest NI.
The firm is also investing more than £2 million in two research and development projects, the first research activities that will be undertaken in Larne.
Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to boost Northern Ireland's economy with measures to boost enterprise and innovation and will return this autumn to lead an investment conference.