MOORE Concrete, a Ballymena based precast concrete firm, has created 35 new jobs as part of a £700,000 investment in its operations.
The majority of the roles have been put in place since the start of March this year, including positions such as graduate engineers, project management, sales, apprentices in civil engineering and construction management.
With some posts still to fill, the plans will bring the company’s headcount to 158.
When all the posts are in place, they will “strengthen the company’s technical and management capabilities,” managing director Wilbert Moore states.
The business manufactures a wide range of standard and bespoke products for use across the construction, civil engineering and agriculture sectors across the UK.
The investment comes as the company remained open for business throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, despite production falling by 40% in the immediate aftermath of lockdown.
“Our people have always been our greatest asset,” said Mr Moore.
“During the worst of the pandemic, our aim was to remain open, supporting essential industries including several major infrastructure projects and the wider agricultural sector.
“However, we gradually increased output back to pre-lockdown levels to the point where our manufacturing output is now at the highest levels yet this year. We’re now looking to further enhance our service offering by investing in our technical, commercial, management and production skills base.
“The farming sector is a key part of our business and, as everyone is aware, agriculture has been operating at full capacity throughout the pandemic. This has been reflected in the continuing investment taking place on farms throughout the UK, all of which is causing a wider ripple effect on the sector’s supply chain.
“We have also seen a resurgence in civil engineering and house building activity right across the UK in recent weeks,” he said.
The firm already has a strong foothold in Great Britain, having recently contributed to the development of offshore clean energy farms off the Scottish coastline, a number of coastal protection schemes and rail infrastructure projects in London, but plans to expand its reach further across the UK.
Whilst welcoming the government’s commitment to major infrastructure projects as well as unrestricted access to customers across the UK, Ireland and EU markets post-Brexit, Mr Moore still believes Brexit presents a level of uncertainty, especially around supply chain elements.
Yet he remains optimistic especially as the company sources the “vast majority” of its raw materials locally.
“As a big supporter of buying local, we recently registered on the BuySupplyNI portal, a free-to-use online portal that enables local suppliers to promote their company and showcase a range of product offerings.” he said.
Mr Moore is also a member of the Steering Team of the Manufacturing Task Force, an industry-led initiative established by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to support and stimulate the manufacturing sector within the borough.
Welcoming the news of the continued investment at the company, Graham Whitehurst, Chair of the Manufacturing Task Force, said:
“With its combination of modern facilities, people skills, design expertise and manufacturing experience, Moore Concrete is another example of a local company that is continuing to play its part in supporting the economy, especially at this challenging time.
“The team has shown over the years how it is committed to meeting the needs of its customers and the growth of its workforce is further proof of that.”