Belfast Telegraph

Horticulture firm grows 70 jobs in new £9.6m expansion

By John Mulgrew

Co Tyrone firm Westland Horticulture is creating 70 new jobs as part of a £9.6m expansion.

It has built a fertiliser manufacturing plant at Invest NI's new Dungannon Business Park.

And aside from the jobs it is also investing in machinery and other equipment, alongside additional training.

The company is currently run by joint managing directors Edward Conroy and Robert Lavery.

Mr Conroy said the latest deal and new base for the firm was "an immensely important strategic investment that will enable us to grow our market share in the consumer lawn care market and control our innovation pipeline".

"The new and very sophisticated plant enables us to bring the manufacture of some fertilisers in-house.

"It will enable us to respond faster to market opportunities in Britain, Ireland and other European markets that we have identified as offering significant growth potential in both short and medium terms.

"We already have a presence in both the German and Polish markets and intend to focus further resources on both and other neighbouring regions. The investment we are making in skills will also support the export drive by increasing the efficiency and flexibility of our people."

Set up in 1998, Westland Horticulture now has a workforce of 238 people at its Dungannon base.

The firm also has three production plants in Britain, one in Germany and a sales office in Poland.

The new posts will be added to the firm's Dungannon site over the next three years, bringing the jobs total to more than 300 by 2016.

And it's a firm which has featured on the Sunday Times BDO Profit 100 list, which covers a rundown of fast-growing profit-makers.

Invest NI is putting forward £1.5m in support towards the new expansion, including almost £700,000 through the Skills Growth Programme. Helping to launch the new posts, Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell said the "hugely significant investment by Westland Horticulture cements the company's commitment to Northern Ireland and to its Dungannon-based workforce".

"The new fertiliser manufacturing plant will enable Westland to position itself as the leader in a very dynamic and fast moving sector.

"The 70 new jobs will provide a substantial boost to Dungannon and wider Tyrone area, contributing £2.1m annually to the local economy.

"Westland has multiple locations across the UK and, as a result of Invest NI support, this project is not only creating new jobs but also safeguarding the employment of the existing workforce.

"Westland's investment to develop the capabilities of its workforce will not only support them in their current roles but enhance overall employability for the future."


Invest NI's support for the firm's Skills Growth Programme

Belfast Telegraph