Image by Press Eye Photography.
DETI Minister Jonathan Bell is pictured with Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive Invest NI, Sarah Holt, RLC; and Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr Thomas Hogg.
Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell today announced that RLC, a major global aerospace component firm, is investing almost £35million to expand its Northern Ireland operations.
The investment will create 80 high quality jobs and establish a world-class advanced manufacturing capability for the company at a new 10,000sq m, state-of-the-art factory at the Global Point site in Newtownabbey.
As part of the investment, RLC is also undertaking a research and development project to enable it to manufacture structural guide vanes at high production rates for the next generation aero engines.
Jonathan Bell said: “RLC has four manufacturing sites, including the one at Langford in Crumlin. I’m delighted that the company has chosen to establish this new facility in Northern Ireland, which will position it at the forefront of global advanced manufacturing for the aerospace sector.
“Its decision to locate its new hard metal machining operations and its highly innovative R&D project here in Northern Ireland was greatly influenced by the availability of Invest NI’s Global Point green field site and RLC’s confidence that it can recruit skilled workers.
“The 80 new jobs will pay well above the Northern Ireland private sector median and will contribute over £2.8million a year in salaries to the economy.
“The global aerospace sector is a dynamic one which will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. RLC’s investment secures its presence in Northern Ireland, and demonstrates to the international aerospace community that this region represents a sound location for providing advanced manufacturing and engineering solutions.”
RLC employs 258 staff in Northern Ireland and a total of 850 across the group.
Invest NI has offered almost £6.5million of support for the new facility and the R&D project.
Commenting on the investment RLC Director, Sarah Holt, said: “We have recently secured high technology, long-term projects with leading global aerospace companies, which offer significant opportunities for RLC.
“To deliver on these contracts we need to invest in a major R&D project and enhance our manufacturing capability. Having considered our options we have decided that, taking into account the availability of skills and the support from Invest NI, Northern Ireland offers an excellent and cost-effective location from which to service these contracts.”
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Thomas Hogg added: “This expansion of RLC’s operations in the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough is a great boost for the local area and the economy in general. The Global Point site will be the second site in the borough for the engineering company, having already established a site in Crumlin. This is great testament to the attractive qualities that Antrim and Newtownabbey offer to potential investors.”
Invest NI’s R&D support is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.