Dodds backs £6 million investment in Lisnaskea poultry business

Economy Minister Nigel Dodds today announced support for a £6million investment in Western Brand Poultry (NI) at Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh.

The investment is being made by Western Brand Poultry’s parent company, Western Brand Ltd, of Ballyhaunis, County Mayo and is being financially assisted by around £500,000 from Invest NI.

The Minister spoke during a visit to the Lisnakea plant where breaded chicken and egg products are processed for its parent company and other customers in the Irish Republic and the UK.

Minister Dodds said: “Western Brand, a family-owned business in the Irish Republic, has already invested substantially in the local business, creating 86 new jobs, since acquiring the former Moy Park operation in Lisnaskea in December 2006.

“This £6million investment not only provides an important boost to the economy of County Fermanagh, but will also assist the development of the local food industry, one of our most successful sectors, particularly for markets outside Northern Ireland.

“Western Brand is using the expertise, which exists in poultry and egg processing in the Lisnaskea area, to further develop its already successful business in the Irish Republic. It is very encouraging to hear that the company is progressing well against targets agreed with Invest NI, particularly in relation to employment levels.”

Commenting on the investment in Lisnaskea, Eugene Lannon, Managing Director of Western Brand said: “Acquiring the Lisnaskea plant enabled us to gain suitable facilities and skilled employees when we needed to replace capacity, following the loss of our breading plant at Ballyhaunis, due to a fire in July 2006.

“We looked at a number of possible locations, including Lisnaskea, and opted to invest there. The advantages it offered enabled us to hit the ground running and having acquired the former Moy Park plant, we were processing products before the end of December 2006.

“This was essential because we have ambitious growth plans for our business with retail multiples in the Republic. We have identified a substantial number of opportunities there and need to assure existing and potential customers that they could count on consistent and highly quality supply across our range of products.

“We found the workforce in Fermanagh to be both highly skilled and very motivated. The Invest NI team also worked closely with us to help get production started again quickly and has also responded positively in discussions on company development and new product issues.”