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Border forklift maker Combilift plans to hire 200 more staff

By Ellie Donnelly

A Co Monaghan manufacturer of forklifts - where one in 10 staff travels from Northern Ireland to work - has announced 200 new jobs.

The posts will be located at Combilift's new €50m global headquarters and manufacturing facility in Annahagh, close to the border.

The 40-hectare site houses a 46,500m sq m factory, a dedicated research and development and testing centre as well as extensive administrative and visitor facilities.

Irish jobs support agency Enterprise Ireland has part-funded the facility, which is occurring in the shadow of Brexit.

The border in Northern Ireland is only a few miles away from the new factory.

Combilift exports 98% of its products across the world, one quarter of which goes to the UK market.

In addition, one in 10 of Combilift's employees cross the border on a daily basis to work in its new factory.

Founded by a farmer, Martin McVicar, in 1998, the company has grown from a small operation with a handful of employees to become one of the biggest names in the material handling sector, with the 200 jobs adding to the company's existing workforce of around 550.

"We have employed an additional 230 people since we announced our plans for this factory in 2015 and we are planning to recruit an additional 200 in the next years," Mr McVicar said.

"The combination of this state of the art production plant and a skilled workforce will allow us to double production within the next five years."

The news was welcomed by Heather Humphreys TD, the Republic's Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation, who said that the announcement pointed to the positive impact of Combilift on the border region.

She added: "Perhaps above all, the company is living proof that you don't have to be in a big city to achieve global success."

Belfast Telegraph

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