Belfast Telegraph

Sandvik relocation set to create 150 factory positions

By Margaret Canning

More than 150 manufacturing jobs have been moved to Sandvik in Co Tyrone, as the Swedish company shifts production from a site in England.

Sandvik, which took over Fintec in Ballygawley in 2007, is stopping production of mobile screens and crushers at the factory in Swadlincote, Derbyshire, with the loss of 360 jobs.

And 160 jobs are being moved to Ballygawley, as the firm consolidates manufacturing in Northern Ireland. However, according to the Derby Telegraph, some offices will be kept in Swadlincote.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster welcomed the relocation of the jobs, and said it was a "tremendous endorsement" of staff and management in Ballygawley.

"Although the last few years have been extremely difficult for material handling companies, the Sandvik site at Ballygawley has grown into a strong and innovative company exporting its products worldwide," she said.

The minister added: "The decision obviously impacts those who are currently employed at the Derbyshire facility, and I know the company is currently in discussions with those who will be affected to ensure they have access to a wide range of support measures."

The Derby newspaper reported that production will be wound down at Swadlincote over the next year.

Managing director, Terry Allison, said: "Since the major downturn in 2008-9, the global market for our products has not recovered as fast as we had hoped.

"We are currently running two factories at 50% capacity. This is neither efficient nor sustainable.

"In order to stay competitive, we propose moving all our production on to the Ballygawley site, which is the right size to meet both the current and anticipated demand for our mobile crushers and screeners."

Consultation is taking place with trade union, Unite, over the proposal. Sandvik Mobile Crushers and Screens Ltd is part of the Sandvik Group, operating in the UK since 1914. It has around 1,500 employees in the UK in 15 different businesses.

Belfast Telegraph