Almac Group to open plant in Republic of Ireland to keep EU access post-Brexit
One of Northern Ireland's most successful companies is opening a new plant in the Republic of Ireland, creating 100 jobs, to maintain EU access after Brexit.
Pharmaceutical firm Almac Group, which has its headquarters in Craigavon, Co Armagh, said it was making a multimillion-pound investment in its new facility at Dundalk, Co Louth, just south of the border.
The move "provides continued presence within the European Union in the long-term", the company announced in a statement.
Alan Armstrong, chief executive of Almac Group, said: "This latest investment in Dundalk is a further example of Almac's ambitious global expansion plans and will deliver up to an additional 100 new jobs within the first two years."
Almac, which employs 5,000 people globally, recently announced a £5 million investment at its Craigavon headquarters.
It also said it would expand its site in North America as well as an existing plant in Athlone, also in the Republic of Ireland.
Dublin's Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor said the latest move builds on a number of multinational companies which have opened facilities in Dundalk in recent years "and who have found it a great base from which to promote their sales into other EU member states".
"These additional 100 jobs to be provided are very welcome and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial engagement with Almac into the future," she added.
The expansion has been supported by the State investment agency, IDA Ireland.
Martin Shanahan, the agency's chief executive, said it was targeting pharmaceutical, IT and financial services companies that are looking to ensure that they have a presence in the European single market.
"Almac's decision to expand into Dundalk provides the company with certainty of access to the European Union in the long-term," he said.
"This certainty of access is an increasingly important selling point for Ireland as we look to win business for Ireland."