Economy Minister Nigel Dodds today announced an £83million investment by Newry-based pharmaceutical company, Norbrook.
The major investment could create up to 293 new jobs, including high calibre research posts. The project is being backed by Invest Northern Ireland, which has offered over £3million of support towards key elements of the project.
The investment will increase Norbrook’s capability and allow it to develop a number of new and unique veterinary pharmaceutical products for the global export market. The company also plans to increase its manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients and develop new manufacturing and product formulation methods which will help it retain its competitive advantage.
Announcing the investment, the Minister said: “It is a great achievement that this major investment, which could have gone outside Northern Ireland, has been secured by Invest NI. Norbrook is one of our most successful indigenous companies and has an impressive record of growth.
“Norbrook’s ongoing investment in research and development is a key factor in its success and undoubtedly the quality and availability of graduates in Northern Ireland has influenced the company’s decision to invest further here.
“An investment of this scale will deliver significant benefits, not just for the company and for the pharmaceutical sector, but for the economy as a whole. It is particularly welcome in the context of the job losses that will happen in the second half of next year in Limavady.”
The Minister also took the opportunity to reinforce his commitment to build a strong, stable economy here, following last week’s Programme for Government announcement.
He said: “Over the past number of months I have met with many business leaders and listened to their concerns. I have also worked closely with my Executive colleagues to ensure the economy was made the top priority in our Programme for Government.
“As a result, we have been given a good budget and have set some challenging targets over the next three years. In particular, there is a need to increase productivity and boost employment levels through foreign direct investment and increased exports.
“Today’s major investment announcement by Norbrook is testimony to the huge potential for economic growth in Northern Ireland.
“I will seek to ensure continued and targeted investment in skills, enterprise, innovation and economic infrastructure to enable us to attract and secure further quality investment on which we can build our economy.”
Norbrook, which employs 880 at its facility in Newry, manufactures a wide range of veterinary pharmaceutical products that are sold in over 100 countries. A strategic priority for the company is to increase its penetration of the lucrative US pet market.
Norbrook’s Executive Chairman, Lord Ballyedmond O.B.E., said: “Norbrook has built its reputation in the large animal market, particularly cattle, and while retaining a focus on this we are now keen to develop a bigger presence in the pet market. Our goal is to establish a centre of R&D excellence and to continue to develop patented products that will outperform our competitors.”