Belfast Telegraph

Family firm geared up to create new jobs with drive into export market

An engineering firm has set up a new export-focused division which it hopes will create seven new jobs in the next two years.

Smiths Engineering Works in Ballymena has set up a gear manufacturing and refurbishment section which has secured business in the Republic and Scotland.

The family-run company, established in 1962, currently offers engine remanufacturing, specialist engineering and contract maintenance services and hopes to capitalise in the rail, marine, wind energy and oil and gas sectors.

Invest NI offered Smiths Engineering £47,500 of support towards the company's overall investment of £500,000.

Darwin Smith is the company's managing director having recently taken over from his father.

"During our 50th year in business, the decision to take a greater export-focused approach in our business activities was driven by the changing needs of our customer base," he said.

"Diversifying into gear servicing will be a complementary but distinct service offering for which we have identified substantial market demand.

"Invest NI's support has helped us to accelerate our expansion plans and enhance our export marketing capabilities and awareness of export opportunities.

"We aim to utilise our extensive network of industry contacts to secure new business."

Gren Armstrong, manager of Invest NI's north eastern regional office, said: "This is an important investment by Smiths which has enabled the company to adopt a new strategic direction and capitalise on emerging opportunities."