Road Safety Contracts in Maghera invests in export growth

Maghera-based Road Safety Contracts (RSC) is being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to grow business in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland through a £404,000 expansion.

RSC is a family-owned and managed business which provides a range of expert services in road maintenance, environmental support and waste management. It is investing in marketing and other activities to grow existing business in the Republic and to enter the market in Great Britain.

Invest NI has offered £33,000 of support towards the expansion which will deliver nine new jobs, including two management posts, by the end of 2013. The company currently employs 81 people in Maghera.

Invest NI assistance was announced by Des Gartland, Manager of Invest NI’s North West Regional Office, during a visit to the company where he was briefed by Eamon McHugh, RSC Operations Director. The company was formed in 1983 by brothers Eamon, Joseph and the late John McHugh.

Welcoming the RSC expansion, Mr Gartland said: “This is an ambitious and successful company which has identified opportunities outside Northern Ireland. RSC has developed a strategic approach which should result in significant growth and produce tangible benefits, particularly in terms of additional employment to the Maghera area and the wider North West.

“The company has a foothold in the Republic and is widely respected for the quality of its services and the knowledge and experience of its management team. It also has a very positive approach to skills training and has a successful track record of investing in growth. Invest NI support has been geared to help this entrepreneurial business to strengthen its marketing activities in the Republic and particularly Great Britain, a significantly larger marketplace, where opportunities have been pinpointed by management for its expertise and services.”

Joseph McHugh, outlining the expansion, said: “Our objective in making what is a substantial investment for the company is to widen our business base, particularly in terms of contacts with private sector operators. Much of our business in key areas such as roads maintenance and environmental services has traditionally been with public sector bodies which are now facing intense pressure on budgets.

“Invest NI’s practical support has been immensely beneficial and has enabled us to bring forward what is a very important and strategic business investment for the company, an expansion will which ensure the company’s continuing growth.

“By investing in extensive marketing and promotional awareness activities we aim to increase awareness substantially of the full range of our services, especially in markets outside Northern Ireland. Currently around 14 per cent of our business is in the Republic and this gives us a platform for growth there in both the private and public sectors.

“While we are confident that trends in Britain such as the outsourcing of contracts by public bodies to private operators could lead to business for us, we need to invest to increase our knowledge of this market, to identify key contacts and to assess the steps we need to take to enable us to compete there. What will stand us in good stead as we seek to enter this important market is the breadth and quality of the portfolio of expert services that we are able to offer potential clients.

“We have experience gained over many decades in the development of roads including the provision of anti-skid surfacing, now also being used extensively for children’s play areas, as well as environmental maintenance such as gully emptying and grass cutting and waste management such as septic tank cleaning and sludge tanking. As a result of investment in these activities over many years, we are now able to offer clients a one-stop shop across a broad range of maintenance activities.”