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NI composites firm creates 132 jobs in £11m expansion

Jonathan Holmes (left), Creative Composites, and Alastair Hamilton, Invest NI
Jonathan Holmes (left), Creative Composites, and Alastair Hamilton, Invest NI
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

A manufacturing company in Lisburn is investing £11m and creating 132 new jobs as part of a new development.

Creative Composites said the expansion followed growth in markets including the automotive, materials handling and mass transit sectors.

The company is one of the most advance composites maker in the UK and has worked with major companies including car business Lotus and Wrightbus.

It is installing new technology including the UK's biggest compression mould press in expansion supported by economic development agency Invest NI.

Around half of the 132 new jobs have been filled, leaving the company's total workforce at 300. The new jobs are expected to generate a total of £2.7m per year for the economy in wages - leaving the average of around £20,450.

Managing director Jonathan Holmes said its automotive clients include some of the car industry's most prestigious names.

"The applications for composites are endless and we are focused on expanding our business in key sectors including automotive and rail," he said.

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"Invest NI's support was critical to investing in the very best plant and machinery that we need to achieve our ambitions.

"We are excited about this growth phase in the business and are making good progress with recruiting additional staff to support our continued development."

But Mr Holmes said the company was not unduly worried about Brexit.

"I suppose like most companies we're keeping abreast of latest negotiations as they arise but our investment here is a long-term investment," he added.

The new posts include production operatives, engineering and managerial positions.

Invest NI has offered £1.5m towards the capital project, part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.

Invest NI chief executive Alastair Hamilton said:"This significant investment introduces new technology to Northern Ireland's advanced manufacturing industry and enhances Creative Composites' capability to produce high-tech composites for a range of applications.

"We are pleased to be helping this highly-skilled and ambitious local company achieve its growth ambitions.

"In a highly competitive global industry, this commitment to innovation helps to cement Creative Composites' reputation as one of the leading composites manufacturers in the UK.

"The new jobs are also a great boost for the economy, and with half already in place, are a real demonstration of the company's growth."

Belfast Telegraph

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