£500k plant will feed green shoots for firm
In another sign that the construction industry is on the mend, a Co Armagh firm has invested almost £500,000 in a new concrete plant -- and created five jobs.
The Norman Emerson Group, which specialises in the supply of products and services within the construction and landscaping sectors, has also carried out major refurbishment of its stone showroom just outside Lurgan, Co Armagh.
The group imports stone products from all over the world, as well as sourcing sand from Lough Neagh for use in sports pitches, golf courses and equestrian centres.
Big contracts throughout Ireland have included Croke Park and the Nick Faldo course at the Lough Erne Golf centre in Enniskillen.
The new plant, which is located at the group's headquarters at Ardmore on the shores of Lough Neagh, has the capability to supply more than 100 cubic metres of concrete an hour.
As part of the investment, Paul Lennon is joining the company as local area sales representative and four drivers have been appointed on the product delivery front.
Group managing director George Emerson is confident the firm is perfectly poised for new challenges.
Mr Emerson said: "Whilst conditions remain challenging within our operating sectors, and indeed generally, you simply can't afford to stand still in business.
"The results of a recent survey from within the construction sector have shown the first increase in construction and manufacturing orders in Northern Ireland since 2007 and that is very positive.
"Our investment ensures that we are ready for any projected upturn whilst providing our existing customers with further assurances of the utmost product conformity."
While Northern Ireland continues to be the worst performing UK region in the sector, the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Construction Market Survey said that the balance for workloads in the province is at its best level for five years.
In the three months to the end of June, the balance for workloads in Northern Ireland improved to -4 -- its best level since the start of 2008 -- from -32 in the previous three months.
The latest Ulster Bank purchase managers' indexes for June and July also showed the first increase in construction and manufacturing orders in Northern Ireland since 2007.
Belfast Telegraph Digital