Economy Minister Simon Hamilton MLA has announced 13 new skilled engineering jobs by Ballynahinch based Datum Tool Design Ltd as part of its growth plans targeting global aerospace opportunities.
The County Down business has also secured a new customer in China and recently signed an initial order for over $1million with X'ian Aircraft Corporation after a visit to Northern Ireland in 2014.
Simon Hamilton said: “Datum Tool Design is a well-established and unique design and manufacturing business with a true global competitive advantage in its target markets. This exciting development will enable Datum to offer manufacturing support as well as design solutions to its customer base and take advantage of emerging opportunities, particularly in China.
“The investment will create 13 skilled engineering roles in County Down over the next three years which will generate £358,500 in annual salaries into the local economy. By implementing this expansion Datum will strengthen its global competitive position and enhance, not only the skills and capabilities of the business, but also those of the wider Northern Ireland Aerospace sector.
"With our manufacturing exports growing, I want to see more companies like this capitalise on their exporting potential. Invest NI’s support for this project is ensuring that aerospace companies like Datum evolve and establish the skills sets, design and manufacturing capabilities to meet the needs of this global industry.”
Datum is a highly specialist niche designer of composite tooling primarily for the global aerospace and automotive sectors. Its customer base includes Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Gulfstream, AVIC China, HAL India, Quickstep Australia, Aston Martin, GKN and Formula One teams.
This news aligns with the company’s £785,000 investment supported from Invest Northern Ireland to enhance its manufacturing capabilities so that it can compete for higher value projects.
Michael Maguire of Datum Tool Design said: “Working with Invest NI has ignited our export ambitions and its support with this expansion is enabling us to undertake the R&D and market development activities which will strengthen our competitive position.
“A number of new aircraft programmes are being introduced to meet increasing demand for air travel and enhancing our manufacturing capabilities and workforce will enhance the scope to target emerging markets.”
Invest NI has offered Datum Tool Design £177,500 to help the company extend its manufacturing facilities in County Down, purchase specialist composite machinery and expand its workforce.
X'ian Aircraft Corporation is in the development phase of the new MA-700 aircraft and Datum Tool Design is the first overseas sub-contractor to be awarded work.