Belfast Telegraph

Tyrone company prepares for push of exports

By Clare Weir

More than 80 jobs have been announced for employment-starved Co Tyrone in a £3.4m five-year expansion plan.

Dungannon firm EDGE Innovate, which designs, manufactures and distributes equipment used in the recycling, materials-handling and quarrying industries, is the company behind the move as it gets ready for an export drive.

Its machinery - including conveyors, stockpilers and shredders - is sold via a distribution network to customers throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, India, North and South America, from the searing heat of the Australian outback to the frozen Antarctica. The 84 new positions range from skilled shop-floor operatives to design engineers and international sales and marketing personnel.

Invest NI has offered EDGE Innovate £421,500 of support, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, towards capital investment and marketing activities.

Darragh Cullen, managing director of EDGE Innovate, said the company aims to take advantage of the strong demand for machinery across a range of export markets, adding: "Invest NI's support will accelerate our capital investment and the availability of the technical skills needed to quickly establish our market position and drive sales."

During a visit to the company to announce the jobs boost, Enterprise minister Arlene Foster added: "The firm's focus on export marketing and new product development will help to enhance its position within the global marketplace and achieve the sizable export sales it has forecast over the next six months.

"EDGE Innovate operates within an important industry for Northern Ireland and its investment not only adds to County Tyrone's international standing in the materials-handling sector but will provide skilled jobs across a range of positions in this rural area."

The news came a day after a new programme was launched to help business development in Co Tyrone.

The Inspire Business Programme is a new joint initiative between Strabane and Omagh district councils.

It is part-funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund.

Some 80 businesses in the North West will be able to avail of mentoring, development workshops and conferences thanks to the scheme.

And last week DMAC Engineering in Coalisland, which specialises in fabrication and metal sheet-forming, announced a £2m investment plan and at least 80 highly-paid jobs.

Its growth plan requires a purpose-built factory to be constructed in the town.