Belfast Telegraph

Family-run engineering firm on cutting edge in £3.2m expansion

By John Mulgrew

Co Londonderry engineering firm SJC Hutchinson Engineering has invested £3.2m as part of its latest major expansion.

The family-run Kilrea company has injected the cash into expanding its business, along with two new cutting lasers.

And the new investment includes a much larger manufacturing site - spanning 60,000 sq ft.

Opening the company's new site in Kilrea, SJC Hutchinson Engineering's managing director Mark Hutchinson said the investment was "another building block" in the firm's growth.

"This new capital investment of over £3.2m is another building block in the company's growth, and with over 40 years experience working with clients who demand quality and precision engineered components, it was imperative that we undertook this expansion.

"This will help to underpin our competitive position in this sector and achieve the aim of substantially increasing sales to global customers over the next three years."

The family business was founded in 1971 and now employs around 85 people, specialising in laser cutting, folding, fabrication, kitting and design services for a wide range of sectors, from aerospace to agriculture.

Damian McAuley, Invest NI's director of advanced engineering and construction, said the investment by SJC Hutchinson Engineering "signals its continued commitment to Northern Ireland and to building on its international success".

"Hutchinson Engineering is working in partnership with Invest NI and has benefited from a range of assistance to develop its facilities and ensure it has the skills and manufacturing processes in place to be competitive in its target market," he said.

Stephen Kelly, chief executive of Manufacturing NI, said he was "very impressed" with the firm, following a visit to the facility earlier this year.

"I have visited in the last few months, and I have been enormously impressed by their ambition and their willingness to invest in order to pick up different markets," he said.

"They do good work in a very advanced sector, and the model of investing and looking for new markets is one we would encourage all companies to take up.

"It's about looking out for new markets, but also in this case - the bigger firms and big manufacturers working alongside smaller companies, in partnership.

Having grown steadily as a firm during the course of the recession, SJC Hutchinson diversified into the aerospace sector in 2013 - launching Hutchinson AeroTech.

Belfast Telegraph