Belfast Telegraph

Businessman gearing up to breathe new life into old firm

By Clare Weir

A businessman says he aims to bring jobs and engineering skills back to the North West after rescuing a defunct company's plant and premises in the region.

Sean Blaney fought off severe competition from overseas buyers to save fixtures and fittings from the Limavady Gear Company, which went into administration last year and closed in August 2011.

The auction at the old Seagate factory in September included all gear manufacturing machinery and most of the other plant.

Now Mr Blaney plans to restart the business as 'Blaney Gears' and invest and expand in the company's capabilities, products and services.

Initially aiming to bring the equipment back to his home village of Ahoghill, Co Antrim, Mr Blaney was so impressed by the work ethic of the people in the Co Londonderry town - which has suffered more than most due to the effects of the economic downturn - he decided to set up shop in the Roe Valley instead.

Mr Blaney stated that he wants to see the reinstatement of Northern Ireland as an engineering power worldwide.

"I thought it was really important to keep the machinery together and keep it in Northern Ireland," he said.

"A lot of the machines were unique and it would have been wrong for them to go to foreign buyers and to lose that potential.

"This is the land of Titanic, tractors, the ejector seat, rubber tyres - but all that has been lost.

"A lot of the people who I have been speaking to in Northern Ireland had to take their business out of Northern Ireland following the closure of Limavady Gear Company and they want to bring it back," he said.

Mr Blaney said that he hopes to recruit five staff following the launch of the business in a fortnight's time and aims to employ up to 20 people within the company in the next three years.