Advanced manufacturing and engineering

Advanced manufacturing and engineering sector

Northern Ireland has a vibrant and highly sophisticated advanced manufacturing and engineering sector.

Northern Ireland has a diverse and vibrant advanced manufacturing and engineering sector with experience spanning across aerospace & defence, automotive, construction, materials handling, electronics and consumer products. Within these sectors the region has a world-class reputation for its strengths in plastics and polymers, composites design and manufacturing, precision manufacturing, design and stress modelling, and aircraft seating and interiors.

Manufacturing within Northern Ireland has grown almost three times faster than the rest of the UK and employment in manufacturing accounts for 11% of employment in Northern Ireland.

The region is home to a diverse range of indigenous and international companies, engaged in the full range of activities from R&D through new product development to manufacturing. A strong focus on R&D investment and commitment to product & process and design & development ensures the sector continues to grow and experience success.

Northern Ireland offers

Skills availability

Skills programmes are designed through collaboration between government, industry and academia to ensure a capable workforce is fully equipped with the appropriate skills, both for current and future needs.
Find out more about Northern Ireland's skilled workforce

Excellent infrastructure

First-class property options, sophisticated and resilient telecoms infrastructure to facilitate communication with global customers and the transport infrastructure needed to assist export to global markets.
Find out more about Northern Ireland's excellent infrastructure

Access to world-class research centres of excellence

Northern Ireland is home to a number of centres of excellent undertaking industrially relevant research and channelling university expertise into the development of sophisticated products and processes.

  • Northern Ireland Advanced Composites & Engineering Centre
  • Northern Ireland Technology Centre
  • Centre of Excellence for Integrated Aircraft Technology
  • Centre for Competitiveness
  • Polymer Processing Research Centre

Cost effectiveness

Operating costs are typically 12% lower than other UK locations, 33% less than the USA, and around 30% less than France and Germany. Coupled with low labour attrition and an attractive tax regime this makes Northern Ireland the most profitable business location in the UK.
Find out more about Northern Ireland's competitive operating costs

A supportive business environment

Northern Ireland offers generous R&D support packages (for large companies, depending on the nature of the research and the inclusion of collaborative partners, around 35% - 50% of the eligible project costs). Companies can also benefit from the UK’s R&D tax credits and the patent box scheme. There is also financial assistance available to support job creation and both pre-employment and in-employment training.
Find out more about Northern Ireland's support packages

Who's here


Bombardier is the world’s third largest aircraft manufacturer and employs around 5,000 people in Northern Ireland.

Bombardier specialises in the design, manufacture and after-market support of complex composite and metallic aero structures, including wings, fuselages and engine nacelles. It has over 40 years’ experience in developing advanced composite technologies and, since 1989, has significantly extended its capabilities through a focused investment programme of over £2.65 billion.


Denroy Plastics offers an integrated design, tooling and manufacturing operation providing clients with a single source solution from concept design to full volume production.

The company services a broad spectrum of business sectors and has extensive knowledge and expertise in processing a diverse range of polymers from the most common polypropylene grades to the high engineering grades of PEEK and PPS used in the aerospace industry.


MJM Group specialises in new build, refurbishment, refit and fit out services to the marine, commercial and private sectors. MJM offers full bespoke and turnkey solutions across a broad range of needs: accommodation, recreation and public areas, catering, residential and many more, working with a wide spectrum of materials.


Seagate is a global leader in data storage solutions. From its facility in Northern Ireland, the company develops and manufactures read-write heads for hard disk drives. This manufacturing operation is recognised as one of the UK’s most advanced nanotechnology manufacturing facilities.


Terex Corporation is a global manufacturer of lifting and material processing products and services. Terex products and solutions serve a broad range of industries, including construction, infrastructure, manufacturing, shipping, transportation, refining, energy, utilities, quarrying and mining.

Terex has a number of manufacturing units in Northern Ireland, employing over 1,000 people in the manufacture of mobile machinery for use in mining, quarrying, construction and waste materials processing. Northern Ireland products include mobile crushers, screeners, sand washing and waste processing equipment.


Wrightbus Wrightbus is an internationally renowned manufacturer of buses for the UK, Republic of Ireland ,USA and Asia Pacific. The company offers the largest portfolio of vehicles in the UK covering midi, maxi, full size, double deck, articulated and hybrid-electric categories on the widest range of chassis. One in three of London’s famous red buses is made by Wrightbus, including the iconic New Routemaster. Wrightbus recently unveiled the world's first hydrogen powered zero-emission double decker bus.

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