Jobs boost at meat processing plant
Almost 180 jobs are being created at a Co Tyrone meat processing plant.
Dungannon-based Linden Foods is expanding operations in a £5 million investment.
The company, which is a subsidiary of Fane Valley Co-operative Society, sources and produces beef and lamb.
The Stormont Executive's business support agency Invest Northern Ireland has offered a grant of £520,000 under its Jobs Fund to assist the company's plans.
A total of 179 posts, including managerial and production roles, have been created. The expansion of the workforce comes two years after the company built a new facility adjacent to its main processing site at Granville.
Trevor Lockhart, chairman of Linden Foods, said: "This investment is an important part of our long-term development strategy and underlines our commitment to the Dungannon area. The support from Invest NI through its Jobs Fund will allow us to create the workforce we need to meet the demand for our range of new and innovative products among export customers and enable us to cement our leading position within the meat processing industry."
Stormont economy minister Arlene Foster visited the plant.
"This investment is very welcome news for the food industry which is a key contributor to Northern Ireland's economy," she said. "The 179 new production and managerial positions, to be created in Dungannon with support from the Jobs Fund, will generate over £2.5 million annually in additional salaries. This is a fantastic boost to the local area, the local community and to the wider Northern Ireland economy.
"Linden Foods has demonstrated a clear desire to continually innovate, maintain its reputation for quality products and retain its focus on growing export sales of its products for the retail sector. Invest Northern Ireland's support will enable this progressive meat processing firm to recruit its new staff members quickly and capitalise on growth opportunities within the convenience food market.
"To date Invest Northern Ireland's Jobs Fund has helped create over 2,600 new jobs, providing not just much-needed employment but also increasing the capacity of the businesses it has supported, allowing them to take advantage of market opportunities."