Invest NI support helps Ballymoney manufacturer secure first export sales

May 13, 2011

A new manufacturing firm Agquip Ltd has secured its first export sales with support from Invest Northern Ireland.

The Ballymoney-based company was formed last year by James O’Kane to provide design and build services to the agricultural sector in the UK and Europe.

Following an investment in research and development, Agquip designed an innovative slurry application system which dispenses farmyard slurry directly onto grassland without leaving a residue on surrounding leaves or plants. The new slurry machine offers farmers a more affordable and efficient alternative to traditional slurry spreading. The product prototype has been well received by customers with a number of orders already secured in the Republic of Ireland, England and Scotland.

As part of its export development plans, Agquip has been exploring potential target markets and improving its sales and marketing skills in order to maximise new business opportunities. Invest NI offered Agquip over £24,000 part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) towards the project.

Gren Armstrong, Manager of Invest NI’s North Eastern Regional Office, said: “Agquip is a proactive and ambitious new company focused on export growth. Its recent R&D investment and market development activities will enhance the firm’s competitiveness and provide Agquip with a solid foundation to build its customer base and increase sales outside Northern Ireland.”

James O’Kane, owner of Agquip, said: “Invest NI’s support has made a vital contribution to our business development. We’ve received a broad range of assistance across areas such as market research and prototype testing, through to product design, marketing and patent protection. The knowledge and experience gained from these activities will be invaluable as we progress our manufacturing operations to full scale production.

“We aim to continue to raise our profile outside Northern Ireland and we will be exhibiting at agricultural shows across Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland over the next few months to identify prospective customers and secure new sales.”

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