Newry firm Connex Offsite creating 140 jobs as part of £2.5m expansion
Newry-based Connex Offsite has announced plans to create 140 jobs over the next five years, in a £2.5m expansion of its recently established operations.
The company, which launched in February of this year in a £1.2m investment, makes high-end ready-made modular bathroom pods that are installed in hotels, student accommodation and healthcare facilities.
Connex currently employs 25 staff with a further 19 sub-contractors and operates out of a 25,000 sq ft factory. An additional 60,000 sq ft facility has been purchased for refurbishment, as part of its ongoing expansion.
It's part of a group of Newry businesses that includes Doherty Developments, Re-Gen Waste, Re-Gen Robotics and Re-Eng.
Managing director Brendan Doherty said: "Off-site manufacturing is one of the fastest growing modern methods of building in the UK and is being embraced by the construction industry. It demands faster delivery of product into production lines, in some cases up to 20 times faster than traditional construction.
"So, not only are we reducing costs and saving man hours, we are also manufacturing a better quality product and providing a controlled environment that is safe and warm and therefore a more pleasant place for our staff to work.
"The industry is facing a skills shortage because young adults do not want to work in construction. If we provide good facilities for them to work in, we are more likely to attract the skilled workers that we need."
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He said the firm's strategy to date has involved market development and implementing new software systems.
Connex has already invested in equipment and plans to recruit 17 people by the end of the year to facilitate the ongoing growth plans.
"We've just completed our first large project with the Elliot Group worth over £700,000 for the delivery of 149 bathroom pods to Bicester in Oxford," added Mr Doherty.
"Our second project delivered 24 bathroom pods to Ogilvie Construction in Edinburgh and we are currently manufacturing a further 116 pods for the Elliot Group, for Cambridge and Hammersmith, to be delivered before Christmas.
"Sales to date will further strengthen our competitive position and leverage future contracts.
"Our order book is growing rapidly, we are aiming to achieve substantial growth within the next three to five years and our ambition is to be the premier bathroom pod manufacturer in the UK and Ireland."