Kilkeel manufacturing SMEs investing for growth
Feb 17, 2022
17 Feb 2022
Ireland Deals, Manufacturing Laurence Kilgannon
James Norris, managing director of J N Hire; Joe Annett, founder and managing director of Anachem Hygiene; Mark Bleakney, Invest Northern Ireland’s southern regional manager; and Ronald McConnell, partner, Mourne Craft
Three Kilkeel-based manufacturing SMEs are investing more than £650,000 collectively to grow their businesses in Great Britain and RoI. JN Hire, Mourne Craft and Anachem Hygiene will also create 12 jobs as part of their investments. Plant hire and manufacturing company JN Hire recently started manufacturing hydraulics and specialist PPE for the fishing and marine sectors, boosting its exporting potential. Managing director James Norris said: "To capitalise on growth opportunities in GB, RoI and across Europe, Invest NI is supporting us to create six jobs that will expand our team’s expertise and capacity. It has also provided support for marketing activities that will help us build our brand in international markets." Mourne Craft specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of external stainless steel and glass balustrades and internal staircases for commercial and residential projects. The company is currently selling in GB and RoI, and Invest NI support is helping to strengthen this success. Ronald McConnell, a partner at Mourne Craft, said: "We've been working with Invest NI’s Southern regional team since 2018, and its advice and guidance has been instrumental to our growth so far. We’re now experiencing an increase in demand for our products in the new-build construction market and hiring three new staff will enable us to target this new market in both GB and RoI and secure more sales." Anachem Hygiene is also investing in its business to increase its exports in RoI, and break into the GB market. Founder and managing director Joe Annett said: "We've been developing and manufacturing cleaning chemicals for professional, industrial and automotive sectors from our Kilkeel facility for over 20 years. "To expand our product portfolio and keep up with our competitors, we’ve developed new environmentally friendly cleaning solutions. This has created a significant market opportunity for us to target new business in RoI such as care homes, schools, and hospitals, and also build our presence in GB. Invest NI has offered £78,750 of support towards the new jobs, and marketing activities. Mark Bleakney, Invest Northern Ireland’s southern regional manager, said: "It was great to meet with J N Hire, Mourne Craft and Anachem Hygiene today to hear about their plans to grow their businesses in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area. Each of these SMEs is well established in Kilkeel and has contributed positively to the economic growth of the area for many years." The support is part funded by the Department for the Economy Economic Recovery Action Plan.