Belfast Telegraph

Conveyor belt maker Smiley Monroe rolls over 31 new jobs onto line

By Clare Weir

A conveyor belt company is rolling over 31 jobs onto its production line in a £2.4m investment.

Lisburn firm Smiley Monroe Ltd, which makes heavy duty conveyor belts and rubber parts, exports King Rollers to more than 40 countries globally for use in mobile crushing, screening and recycling, mining, quarrying, cement works, fertiliser plants, biomass and waste management.

The family-run business, which was founded in 1979, already employs 96 people and the business plans to create 31 new jobs over the next two years.

The export of materials handling products has been cited as a key driver for the Northern Ireland economy in a number of reports in recent months, with more and more firms selling goods to far flung corners of the world including China, Nigeria and Fiji.

Smiley Monroe has already won business in India, the USA and Australia. The firm also has distribution partners in England, Scotland, Lithuania, Latvia, the West Indies and New Zealand and is seeking further distributors in the North and South American markets, Poland and Russia.

Vaughan Monroe, the managing director of Smiley Monroe, said the firm is aiming to increase turnover, broaden its customer base and boost export sales.

The investment is being supported by Invest NI, which has offered £300,000 of assistance towards new equipment and the lease of additional factory space.

Alastair Hamilton, chief executive of Invest NI, said that the materials handling sector is hugely important to Northern Ireland's economy.

"Its focus on product innovation and on growing export sales has underpinned its growth over the last 35 years, and will sustain it into the future," he said.

"The new jobs being created by the company will offer opportunities to school leavers and to the unemployed and make a valuable contribution to growing our manufacturing industry."

Belfast Telegraph