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New trade body led by manufacturing bosses

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Mark Huddleston, Economy Minister Paul Frew, Sir Michael Ryan, Invest NI chair Rose Mary Stalker and Mark Nodder

Mark Huddleston, Economy Minister Paul Frew, Sir Michael Ryan, Invest NI chair Rose Mary Stalker and Mark Nodder

Mark Huddleston, Economy Minister Paul Frew, Sir Michael Ryan, Invest NI chair Rose Mary Stalker and Mark Nodder

The head of Spirit AeroSystems here and a former Wrightbus boss are among businesspeople making up a new independent manufacturing body.

Economy Minister Paul Frew said the establishment of the Makers Alliance would drive the development of the advanced manufacturing sector in Northern Ireland.

It will also work with Manufacturing NI, universities, colleges and councils to address industry needs.

The Minister said: "Its focus will be to accelerate innovation, digitalisation, and the green agenda within manufacturing. It will play an important role in supporting the development of a single, unified vision for the sector.

"This vision will integrate with national strategies and ensure that the Northern Ireland manufacturing sector remains strong and globally competitive,” he said.

Sir Michael Ryan CBE, vice president and general manager of Spirit AeroSystems in Belfast, is chairman.

He said: “The establishment of Makers Alliance couldn’t have come at a better time as we navigate difficult times for many manufacturing businesses and look to a post-pandemic recovery.”

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Mark Nodder, former Wrightbus chairman and chief executive and Mark Huddleston, managing director of jheSolutions, have been appointed joint CEOs for a year. They said: “We very much look forward to starting and would encourage NI businesses and stakeholders to engage with us and support our ambitions.”

The Makers Alliance is supported by economic development agency Invest NI, with £197,200 of support.


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