Belfast Telegraph

Top manufacturing leader joins forces with William Stobart

Factory plan: Mark Cuskeran
Factory plan: Mark Cuskeran
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

One of the best-known figures from manufacturing in Mid-Ulster has joined forces with a member of the Stobart lorry family to produce a new range of trailers.

Mark Cuskeran, the former managing director of SDC Trailers in Toome, Co Antrim, has gone into business with William Stobart.

They are planning to build a 50,000 sq ft factory at Creagh Industrial Estate in Toome.

Willliam Stobart is the former chief operating officer of the Stobart Group, the well-known infrastructure and logistics group. The group is best known for the lorries bearing the name of Eddie Stobart - William's father.

Mr Cuskeran led the expansion of SDC Trailers to become a major European manufacturer, before guiding it to its sale to Chinese company CIMC three years ago. He resigned as a director of SDC Trailers in 2017.

Now his new company with William Stobart, MAW Engineering, will manufacture trailers, truck bodies and home delivery vans.

And Mr Cuskeran said the venture was putting the pair's "significant experience in manufacturing, transport and logistics" to use.

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Mr Cuskeran said he was confident about the venture despite the uncertainty created by Brexit.

"We are building a state-of-the-art factory which is ideally situated to cover our customer base.

"William and I have decades of experience across the sector, and there is a highly skilled and well educated workforce in the area, so we're very much looking forward to taking this venture forward."

William Stobart added: "I have dealt with Mark for almost 20 years in this business, and I know that his experience, contacts and business style make him an ideal person to take this venture forward with.

"It's very exciting to be involved in an entirely new venture like MAW Engineering and I'm absolutely certain that together we can build a business which we can be proud of, and which can provide a much needed economic boost to the area."

In its latest accounts - covering the nine months ending on December 31, 2017 - SDC Trailers reported pre-tax profits of £6m on sales of £122m. The company has around 660 staff.

Belfast Telegraph