Belfast Telegraph

Building success and a community

By Stephen Kelly

News of Thompson Aero Seating's £10m investment and indeed the support provided by Invest NI in this great family-owned manufacturer is a further sign of our growing influence in high-quality manufacturing for the transport and aerospace industries.

With a skilled workforce, a great product and strong leadership team, we are sure of continued success. Manufacturing can and is impacting on every community and every constituency.

These are mostly locally-owned firms committed to the people of their own town or townland.

Manufacturers create sustainable, well-paid jobs that allow families to put down roots, build or buy houses and support the local shop, pub or sporting club. Investing large capital amounts makes the jobs sticky, an investment for the next 20 years not necessarily the next two.

Our production sector makes up an estimated 12.5% of our GDP. This is against an EU target in a "reindustrialised Europe" of 20%.

Just think what growing our manufacturing base would do for our economy and community. We must create conditions to allow our manufacturers to succeed.

  • Stephen Kelly is Chief Executive, Manufacturing NI

Belfast Telegraph