Family Engineering Business Steels Itself for New Sales in Great Britain

Oct 03, 2016
Tony Cowan (right), Woodburn Engineering, is pictured with Moira Loughran, Invest NI.

Woodburn Engineering in Carrickfergus is almost doubling its workforce as part of strategic growth plans supported by Invest Northern Ireland.

The family business is creating 10 new jobs and investing in additional machinery and marketing in a bid to secure new tender opportunities in Great Britain, particularly in the Infrastructure and Ports sector.

Woodburn Engineering specialises in the fabrication of light and heavy steelwork and its associated site installation. Speaking about the company’s expansion, Managing Director, Tony Cowan said: “This investment is a significant development for the business that will enable us to target and secure new high value projects outside of Northern Ireland.

“We have seen an upturn in Great Britain’s construction sector and bolstering our management and production teams is giving us greater in house technical expertise and resources to deliver more complex engineering projects.

Invest NI’s support is helping us to position ourselves to compete for new business.

“Invest NI’s support is helping us to position ourselves to compete for new business. We have already seen the fruits of our efforts, securing contracts with Glasgow and Chesterfield City Councils valued at £2million.

“We want to raise greater awareness of our unique engineering capability in the technical specification and design of road, rail/water and pedestrian bridges and motorway signal gantries. Our recent successes in Great Britain will hopefully help to leverage future sales in our target sectors.”

Invest NI has offered Woodburn Engineering £45,000 support towards its growth plans. The ten new roles, six of which are already in place, include a Production Supervisor, Contracts Manager, Draughtsman and seven skilled welders.

Commenting on the expansion, Moira Loughran, Invest NI’s Eastern Regional Manager, said: “This is an important and strategic investment for Woodburn Engineering and a positive news story for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council area.

“The recovery of Great Britain’s construction sector is benefiting this family firm which is experiencing encouraging growth, recently securing valuable business in Scotland and Derbyshire. The ten new skilled construction jobs being created have salaries above the private sector median and once all in pace will generate over £306,000 annually in additional salaries to the local economy.

“The financial and advisory support offered by Invest NI is helping Woodburn Engineering position and market itself as a single package solution for contractors, offering design and build through to assembly and installation on site.

“Woodburn is an established and valued business in Carrickfergus and its development demonstrates the company’s confidence in achieving its growth potential outside Northern Ireland.”

Woodburn Engineering has evolved from manufacturing machined components for the textile industry 30 years ago to end to end steel fabrication. Its expansion will bring total employment at the company to 26.

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