Belfast Telegraph

Firm flies high after £5m cash injection

By Clare Weir

A Co Londonderry engineering firm is investing over £5m in a bid to target global aerospace markets and create 15 new jobs.

Fresh from a successful exhibition at Farnborough Air Show, Moyola Precision Engineering manufactures high-precision machined components for a range of sectors, including aerospace, automotive, medical devices and power generation.

Moyola already supplies components to the global aerospace supply chains of Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier.

The boost will create 15 new jobs and safeguard a further 20, taking the total employment in Castledawson to 117.

Invest Northern Ireland has offered £616,500 of support towards the investment with part funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

Mark Semple, Managing Director of Moyola Precision Engineering, said that the investment would allow great expansion.

"This investment will allow us to reconfigure our site to accommodate larger, more complex machining centres and to install new high-technology equipment," Mr Semple said.

"This in turn will allow us to target higher value and more complex projects."

The news comes weeks after the firm became the first Northern Ireland company to be awarded the Supply Chains for the 21st Century Silver award which recognises practices that raise the performance and increase the competitiveness of companies operating in the supply chain. The accolade, handed out by the Aerospace Defence Security trade body, was presented by First Minister Peter Robinson at the Farnborough Air Show in England.

The company hopes to compete for the gold award in 2014.

Also at Farnborough, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between new Northern Ireland firm Sigma Aeronautics and Spirit AeroSystems, the world's largest supplier of commercial airplane assemblies. Sigma has been set up to address the needs of the worldwide industry and represents six aerospace companies located in Northern Ireland, including Moyola.

During a visit to Moyola's plant in Castledawson, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said that the new investment represents a major step towards establishing the company firmly in the global aerospace supply chain.

"The salaries generated by this project will be almost £800,000-a-year and will be above the Northern Ireland private-sector median, providing high-valued engineering jobs that the Programme for Government is seeking to create in order to rebalance and rebuild our economy."

"Northern Ireland's aerospace sector has a considerable impact, with the sector generating nearly £1bn in sales and being a key leader of innovation," she said.