Castlewellan firm targets export success with new agri machinery

Herron Engineering is targeting £300,000 worth of new export sales over the next four years with support from Invest Northern Ireland.

The Castlewellan-based family business manufactures agricultural and engineering equipment for the farming and construction sectors across the UK and Europe.

Following an investment in research and development, Herron Engineering designed a new slurry tanker which can accommodate attachments and distribute slurry in a more environmentally friendly manner. A drilling mechanism attached to the device delivers slurry directly into the ground rather than spreading it over the surface, thereby minimising odour and reducing run-off into waterways.

Invest NI offered Herron Engineering over £35,000, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) towards the investment. Since the product was launched to market earlier this year, Herron Engineering has been targeting customers across the UK and Europe and has identified significant potential for its unique new product.

Carol Keery, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation, Research and Technology, said: “This R&D project was an opportunity for Herron Engineering to develop a highly advanced new product and enhance its ability to compete for new export business.

“The introduction of new EU regulations on slurry distribution next year will create a substantial market for the company’s innovative device. Herron Engineering has worked quickly to develop a product which will meet the changing needs of the EU agricultural market and is now engaged in marketing activities to build its customer base and to increase its share of the agricultural equipment market outside Northern Ireland.”

William Herron of Herron Engineering said: “In researching the market and associated legislation, we realised there was an opportunity to create an advanced new product which would ensure our customers could meet the increasing environmental requirements for slurry spreading.

“Invest NI’s support for our R&D investment has enabled us to accelerate the development of this new technology and create a highly desirable offering for UK and European markets.  Our drilling dispersion system will make slurry spreading even more efficient for farmers and provide us with a platform to incorporate complementary attachments in the future. By strengthening our competitive advantage, we aim to secure £300,000 worth of new export business over the next four years.”