Kilrea engineer invests to grow exports

Hutchinson Engineering in Kilrea, Co Londonderry is being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to invest almost £100,000 to sell more products and services particularly in markets outside Northern Ireland.

The company’s drive to expand its sales through measures to strengthen its capability in markets including the Republic of Ireland was announced by Hutchinson’s Managing Director Mark Hutchinson and Des Gartland, Manager of Invest NI’s North West Regional Office in Derry.

The engineering company has been in business since 1971 and currently employs 32 people in making precision engineered components for other manufacturing businesses. Over 90 per cent of Hutchinson’s components are either exported directly by the company or by its clients.

Mr Hutchinson, commenting on the new investment, said: “What we aim to achieve by this project is to increase exports of our own products and services directly to customers.

“This means finding new clients for our existing engineering services and especially for new and different products that we plan to develop over the next few years.

“A key element of the investment is geared to new product development through the creation of a bespoke design consultancy, driven by a Process Quality Engineering Manager to be appointed by us.

“This strategic approach to sales will enable us to focus on providing different products and services that customers need and will help us to set ourselves apart in what is a very competitive marketplace.

“Invest NI’s support for what is an immensely important investment for the company has included expert mentoring in terms of strategic development and on measures to make us more efficient. We’ve also benefited enormously from guidance from an experienced marketing consultancy.

“Overall the practical assistance provided by Invest NI is strengthening our ability to bid for new business in products we are able to produce and through more professional marketing,” he added.

Mr Gartland said: “Hutchinson Engineering has an excellent track record in terms of the quality of work provided to many exacting companies. Over the years the company has invested in the latest plant and machinery to ensure consistently high quality products and services to all its customers.

“As well as being well equipped in terms of the latest machinery including laser-cutting machinery, Hutchinson Engineering has established a strong position as a flexible business that is capable of responding quickly and efficiently to the specific needs of individual customers.

“The decision to focus on developing its own product lines for the engineering/manufacturing industry in Northern Ireland, and especially in neighbouring markets, is the correct course and one which we have been keen to assist. This approach will help this ambitious company to create a stronger market position,” he added.