Portglenone firm bounces back after lose of JTI and Michelin contracts

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Rosemary McCormick, Investment and Funding Delivery Manager, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Sam Caldwell, Managing Director, Ashgrove Precision Engineering Ltd, Ald Robin Cherry, Mid and East Antrim Local Action Group Chairman.

Portglenone based manufacturer Ashgrove Precision Engineering LTD, is the latest business to successfully avail of funding for a business growth project under the NI Rural Development Programme.

Ashgrove Precision Engineeering Ltd received the cash injection from the Mid and East Antrim Local Action Group (LAG) to assist with the purchase of a new state of the art CNC Lathe machine.

The family run business, trading in the area for 15 years, has developed into one of the leading engineering machine shops in Northern Ireland producing precision components and one off fully assembled products, using Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines.

Despite the loss of Ashgrove’s two major customers JTI and Michelin in 2016, the company has diversified and broadened its customer base by penetrating deeper across existing market segments, with special focus on the expanding aerospace industry within Northern Ireland.

This has led to business growth and Ashgrove Precision Engineering have further plans for expansion.

Samuel Caldwell, Managing Director at Ashgrove Precision Engineering Ltd, told how the Rural Development Programme had boosted the growth of the firm.

He said: “The RDP Grant assisted us in purchasing a CNC Lathe which has improved efficiencies as well as increasing the manufacturing capacity and productivity of our company. We have strong growth targets and plan to increase the workforce by recruiting an additional three employees by 2019.

“We extend our thanks to the LAG Board and staff team. Their funding has proved crucial for our business.”

Commenting on the completion of the project, Mid and East Antrim LAG Board Chairman, Ald Robin Cherry, said: “Businesses such as Ashgrove Precision Engineering Ltd are invaluable to the local rural economy.

“This company has gone from strength to strength in recent years and it is fantastic to see it deliver a project that will achieve further growth and create more sustainable jobs. We wish them every success in the future.”

Mid and East Antrim Local Action Group is funded under Priority 6 (LEADER) of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, and the European Union.



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