Foster announces major expansion at McErlain’s Bakery


Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has today announced a £1.4million expansion by Magherafelt-based McErlain’s Bakery that will create 100 new production jobs.

The family business produces an extensive range of small breads and pastries under the Genesis Crafty brand. It also supplies products to large retailers across Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland for sale under the retailers’ own brand.

McErlain’s has already created 35 of the 100 new positions. The remaining 65 jobs will be created over the next two years. As well as its recruitment drive, McErlain’s plans to invest in new plant and machinery and also extend its product development area as part of its investment project.

McErlain’s has been awarded £352,000 by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) towards the planned investment under its EU Processing & Marketing Grant Scheme. The Scheme is administered by DARD with input from Invest Northern Ireland.

Speaking following a visit to the company’s premises, Arlene Foster said: “Bakery is a well established and intensely competitive sector so this investment is very welcome news for the food industry, a key contributor to Northern Ireland’s economy. The 100 new jobs being created as part of McErlain’s long term development strategy is a positive boost for the local community in Magherafelt.

“This project demonstrates McErlain’s clear desire to innovate and grow its sales outside Northern Ireland. It also highlights the NI Executive’s commitment and cross departmental approach to support the development of local businesses.”

In addition to the remaining 65 new production staff the firm expects to recruit over the next two years, McErlain’s is recruiting a Brand Manager and an Account Manager to help boost sales and awareness of the Genesis Crafty brand across Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. Invest NI has offered McErlain’s an additional £53,000 of support towards these marketing activities.

Brian McErlain said: “We recognise the need to further expand our sales beyond Northern Ireland and have focused on developing new innovative products and enhancing our branding, sales and marketing in a bid to secure new export business. Support from DARD and Invest NI is helping us enhance our production and marketing capabilities to meet the demand of new customers and cement our position within the highly competitive bakery industry.”