New jobs boost at car parts factory
A £32 million investment at Japanese car parts factory in Co Antrim has created 100 new jobs.
The workforce at the Ryobi Aluminium Casting plant in Carrickfergus will increase to 386 when all the positions are filled.
The company manufactures aluminium die casting products for the European automotive market.
This investment will see new machinery in operation on the factory floor, enabling the expansion of the current product range.
The Stormont Executive's business support agency Invest NI has offered the company more than £2 million of assistance, partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
First Minister Peter Robinson, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Economy minister Arlene Foster joined Ryobi Chairman Hiroshi Urakami in Carrickfergus for the announcement today.
The Japanese businessman, who met Stormont's leaders on their recent visit to Japan, flew into Northern Ireland for the event.
"Ryobi Group is a global leader in specialist die casting technology and we are confident our workforce at Ryobi Aluminium Casting (UK), Limited can help us maintain that position in Europe," he said.
"Over the years we have received excellent support from Invest NI and we consider them to be an important partner in our ongoing development and growth in Northern Ireland."
Mr Robinson welcomed the investment.
"Ryobi Aluminium Casting (UK), Limited is one of Northern Ireland's longest established inward investors and this latest investment in its only European plant, is a further indication of its commitment to Northern Ireland," he said.
"Today's announcement reinforces the growing global appeal that we have as a great place in which to invest and to grow your business.
"We met with Chairman Hirsoshi Urakami and President Akira Urakami in December as part of our business mission to Japan, to discuss this project. I welcome this opportunity to thank Ryobi for its further investment in Northern Ireland and to assure the company of our continued support."
Mr McGuinness added: "Today's announcement of 100 new jobs at Ryobi Aluminium Casting will bring the total employed in Ryobi Limited to 386 delivering over £2 million a year to the local economy.
"In December we met Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, Ryobi Chairman, Hirsoshi Urakami and Ryobi President, Akira Urakami. These high level meetings provided the platform for us to strengthen government to government relations and attract inward investment. This £32 million investment by Ryobi Aluminium Casting Limited presents opportunities for people to earn a living and provide for their families."
Mrs Foster paid tribute to the local workforce.
"This latest investment is an endorsement of the skills and infrastructure available here, as well as proof that Invest NI's work to secure investment and reinvestment is working," she said.