Antrim electronics business Schrader creates 100 new jobs
Over 100 jobs are to be created in a £29m investment in a Co Antrim-based electronics company.
Schrader Electronics, which makes automatic tyre pressure monitors, already employs between 800 and 900 people in Antrim and Carrickfergus and is part of the automotive and industrial division of Tomkins.
Invest Northern Ireland has offered Schrader over £5m, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), towards the investment projects. Of this, £1.9m will support the expansion of the firm's production facilities, promote growth in the European and Asian markets and create a total of 130 new jobs, all of which will help the company target European and Asian markets.
The plans are already ahead of schedule with 110 of the new jobs already in place, ready to help the company benefit from new European laws which decree that all new cars be fitted with automatic tyre pressure gauges.
Schrader is also undertaking a series of significant research and development projects to explore new products and remain competitive in key markets and is to implement a major training initiative for its new and existing workforce. Graeme Thompson, financial director of Schrader Electronics said the investment forms part of a strategy to boost competitiveness.
He said: "Our research and development projects will enhance the innovative culture in our operations and ensure that we have the depth of product range to satisfy more complex European markets.
"The support offered by Invest NI will be vital as we work to drive top line growth and improve cost efficiencies."
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said that the creation of 130 new manufacturing jobs is a significant boost for both local industry and the wider economy.
She added: "Schrader is a renowned manufacturing company whose innovations and focus on research and development continue to enhance the credibility and reputation of Northern Ireland's automotive sector.
"This multi-million pound investment, which was secured against strong competition from other European locations, demonstrates Schrader's confidence in its Northern Ireland operations.
"With impending European legislation requiring all motor vehicles to be fitted with tyre pressure monitoring systems, Schrader's customer base is expected to double by 2015."
East Antrim Alliance MLA Sean Neeson said: "This area was hard hit during the economic downturn and many skilled workers lost their jobs. I hope these new jobs will allow those who have not yet found work to get back into employment."