Strabane firm to create 83 new jobs and invest over £7m in ambitious expansion.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Strabane firm to create 83 new jobs and invest over £7m in ambitious expansion. thumbnail Pictured at yesterday’s investment announcement are Alastair Hamilton, Invest NI, Darren McGavigan, Fabplus, and Des Gartland, Invest NI.

A LOCAL engineering company has announced that it is to create 83 new jobs as part of a three-year £7million expansion plan.

Yesterday (Tuesday) Fabplus revealed that it is planning to more than double its workforce and turnover with support from Invest Northern Ireland.

Located at Orchard Way, the company is a specialist supplier of bespoke pre-fabricated pipework for use in fire sprinkler systems.

Its equipment is installed in power stations, warehouses, retail buildings, hospitals, stadiums, apartment blocks and factories throughout Ireland and Great Britain.

Invest NI has offered the company over £786,000 towards its expansion, including £187,590 of R&D support, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund

The investment is part an expansion plan with a view to increasing the company's market share in the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain, and gain a foothold in mainland Europe and Scandinavia.

Recruitment is already underway to employ the 83 additional staff at the business, including management roles and 70 new production staff.

Fabplus' investment includes expanding its factory space, storage and R&D facilities, developing an in-house powder coating and pipe optimisation capability and implementing a staff training plan.

The family business is subsidiary of Mechanical Pipework Fabrication Limited (MPF), based in Lifford.

Darren McGavigan, director of Fabplus, explained: "This is an ambitious three year expansion plan which is designed to move our operations to a scale which can compete in the global marketplace.

"Extending the factory by 48,000 sq ft will increase our production capacity and improve factory workflow.

Adding breadth and depth to the management team will also introduce additional expertise into the business while implementing our innovative new processes will consolidate our market leading position with new and existing customers."

Also speaking following a visit to the company's premises in Strabane, Invest NI's chief executive, Alastair Hamilton, said: "Fabplus is an established family business in Strabane which has experienced considerable growth over the last five years.

The company has been working in partnership with Invest NI during this time and developed a strong competitive advantage in the UK market place.

"Its latest investment is a significant boost for our construction sector, the North West region and more broadly Northern Ireland's manufacturing base, which has been facing commercial challenges in other areas.

The 83 new jobs being created by 2019 will generate £1.7million annually in additional salaries to the local economy and take total employment at the firm to 138 people.

"Fabplus wants to take advantage of growth opportunities in mainland Europe and Scandinavia and is utilising our help and expertise to invest in the resources, capabilities, training and R&D needed to help achieve its objective."

Welcome news Sinn Féin MLA., Michaela Boyle, says the development is welcome news. Both she and former MP Pat Doherty, had been involved with the company in meetings with Invest NI in helping to bring this project to fruition said, "This is a tremendous news story for the town and I would first and foremost like to pay tribute to the company management who have worked tirelessly along with Invest NI to make this happen and along with former MP Pat Doherty, I am delighted to have been involved in meetings with the company and Invest NI to assist in progressing this innovative project.

The announcement shows the loyalty and commitment of this company to this area and is a tremendous vote of confidence in the people of this area.

"It comes on the back of other recent positive announcements for the town and further indications that we are turning a corner economically and with the Derry to Strabane section of the A5 scheduled to commence now in January, this announcement will further serve to help make Strabane an attractive proposition for further investment."


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