Kerr's Tyres and Auto's £2m expansion set to add 15 jobs and training base
Co Antrim tyre chain Kerr's Tyres and Auto plans to create 15 new jobs as part of a £2m expansion plan, including the creation of a training facility to train its next generation of fitters.
The family-run business also plans to open a further two new tyre centres over the next two years.
It comes just a year after the firm's owners invested £1m in its expansion.
The plans will see the firm move its Antrim-based centre to a new greenfield site which it will turn into its new company headquarters.
The new headquarters will include a training facility in a bid to tackle fears of skills shortages within the automotive industry.
The training will focus on quality tyre fitting - part of the automotive business which is not subject to official accreditation.
Managing director Norman Kerr said the firm will also invest in redeveloping its current premises in Coleraine and Belfast, with the garage, workspace and customer reception areas to be refitted.
The work will also see extra fitting bays added at the branches as well as new plant equipment and machinery.
He said: "At Kerr's Tyres and Auto, we are continually exploring opportunities for both improving the company and its employees.
"Only two years ago we invested over £1m, we now have a workforce of over 50 employees and the development of our new headquarters, coupled with dedicated training programmes, will boost this further, providing necessary skills for progression and employment within the industry."
The business will use its new training facility to establish its own in-house training programme for new and prospective employees. The programme will focus on professionalism, safety and skills development.
The facility will also be open for third-party hire for organisations involved in mechanical and automotive education programmes.
It's hoped the building will open within the next 12 months and will become one of the largest retail tyre centres in the UK and Ireland.
The firm's most recent centre opened in Newtownards just over a year ago. Kerr's also currently runs three other sites in Northern Ireland - in Belfast, Antrim and Coleraine - as well as three sub-outlets in England.