New export business will boost jobs in Kilrea


Invest Northern Ireland is assisting H360, a new company in Kilrea, Co Londonderry to market expert design, prototyping services and sub-contract fabrication to Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

The company, a spin out business from SJC Hutchinson Engineering, also based in Kilrea, is investing £400,000 and is planning to create six new jobs over the next three years. Invest NI has offered the new company export start assistance of £50,000 towards eligible costs of £187,000.

Announcing support for the new company, Des Gartland, Invest NI’s North West Regional Office Manager in Londonderry, said: “H360 carries forward the experience, knowledge and skills of a longstanding and successful engineering business into a new market area that it has pinpointed through extensive research and feedback from customers.

“Our support is in line with Invest NI’s focus on promoting the growth of entrepreneurial companies offering added value services especially to markets outside Northern Ireland.

“This investment in a predominantly rural community will provide high calibre employment opportunities, particularly in management, design and prototyping services.

“We are working with management to develop the company’s capability and competencies in key areas such as export marketing and technology. The experience that SJC Hutchinson has gained in working with major clients in sectors such as bus manufacture brings significant benefits to the new enterprise,” he added.

Mark Hutchinson, H360 Managing Director, outlining the business strategy, said: “We decided to spin-out the new company following extensive market research into opportunities for our existing engineering operation.

“We found a market demand from other engineering businesses for an experienced and expert design and product development service, across a range of engineering sectors including the manufacture of agricultural machinery and commercial vehicles, as well as architectural metalwork.

“What it will also do is to provide new business opportunities to SJC Hutchinson in areas including sub-contract fabrication. The new company will be able to exploit the engineering skills and facilities available from an existing business with a track record in engineering stretching back almost 40 years. They will be able to access a total turnkey service from design concept, through development to sub-contract manufacturing.

“As well as being able to access H360’s expert services, customers will benefit from SJC Hutchinson’s vast experience in sub-contract engineering for the broadest range of sectors. Among the services that H360 offers are specialist design, new product development, sub-contract design, sub-contract prototyping and fabrication.

“Another key objective underpinning the formation of the new business is the development of our own branded products. This will enable us to meet our strategic focus on achieving faster growth through the development of a portfolio of our own products,” he added.