Fermanagh renewable energy firm invests in expansion

Pictured alongside Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster is John Treacy, Fermanagh Enterprise Ltd, Neil Elliot, owner of Future Renewables and Mary Gormley, manager of Invest Northern Ireland's Western Regional Office.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has announced a £377,000 investment by an Enniskillen based renewable energy firm, supported by Invest Northern Ireland.

Future Renewables, which designs, supplies and installs domestic renewable energy solutions, is one of the first businesses to get support from growth element of the Invest NI Enterprise Development Programme.

Launched last year by Invest NI, the programme provides free advice to established businesses which have the potential to increase production levels, workforce and sales in export markets.

As a result of the advice received, Future Renewables is now investing in a £377,000 expansion plan which will help the firm to move into the Republic of Ireland and UK markets over the next two years. Invest NI has offered over £35,000, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, to support the project which will create 10 new jobs.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “Invest NI’s Enterprise Development Programme can help Northern Ireland businesses to reach their full potential by providing free targeted specialist support across key business areas. This is a valuable resource for small companies with export potential, as it can give them the confidence and the knowledge to maximise new opportunities and increase competitiveness.

“This project is an excellent example of how the Programme can help businesses to progress to the next level. The investment will enable Future Renewables to take advantage of the increasing demand for renewable energy solutions, position the business strongly in target export markets and provide employment for local people.

“This is a positive and commendable step for a sole trader at a time when many companies continue to postpone expansion plans. It demonstrates how entrepreneurial vision combined with a strong business proposition and the correct support network can drive growth and deliver economic benefits.”

Neil Elliot, owner of Future Renewables commented: “Having developed highly efficient and cost-effective renewable energy solutions and enjoyed some success in the local marketplace, I needed wider business advice in order to plan correctly for my export growth. Future Renewables has significant export potential but access to specialised advice was critical to ensure the correct decisions were made.

“I am delighted with the support from Invest NI as it helped me to refine my business strategy and identify key areas for development. As a result, I was then able to access financial support for my investment project to support product development and customer service management initiatives, as well as increase our brand awareness in market. I am confident that by 2012, at least 50% of turnover will come from customers outside NI.”