Belfast Telegraph

Economic boost as firms enjoy growth

By Heather McGarrigle

More than 100 jobs are being created as three Northern Ireland companies reveal expansion plans.

Lisburn technology firm Kelvatek has announced a £3.5m investment, which will create 60 new jobs.

The company designs and manufactures products for the power and rail industries.

Invest NI offered £300,000 to support the move.

John Cunningham, managing director of Kelvatek, said: "Our strategy is to expand into new markets for current products and at the same time develop a range of complementary products to take advantage of new market opportunities opening up in the area of smart grid technology."

Mr Cunningham said the ability to develop solutions for emerging power distribution problems would give the company "a competitive edge".

Drinks giant Diageo Northern Ireland also had good news for jobseekers, with the announcement of 39 new jobs at its Boucher Road site.

The south Belfast office will now house the company's entire customer service team for Ireland. Michael McCann, country director for Diageo Northern Ireland, said: "Twenty-eight of these new employees are already in training and by October 2012, there will be 50 dedicated customer service employees in Belfast, servicing all of Diageo's customers throughout Ireland."

Meanwhile, Tyrone manufacturer Acheson and Glover said it had recruited 12 new staff as part of a £300,000 expansion of its Outside Room retail concept.

The Dungannon concrete product firm is adding five new outlets to its existing retail offering, which offers paving and wall tiling for homeowners.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster welcomed the employment news: "Over the next three years Kelvatek will create 60 high-quality jobs, which will deliver some £1.9m a year into the local economy."

She described Diageo's announcement as "another welcome boost to the food and drink processing sector in Northern Ireland, bringing much-needed employment and strengthening Diageo's presence here".