Rachel Martin and Breifne O'Brien
NI farm machinery firm creates 34 jobs while investing £4 million in factory
Northern Irish machinery implements manufacturer Fleming Agri Products has announced it will take on 34 new staff as it makes a £4 million investment in its factory in the north-west of the province.
The spend includes an extension to the factory in Newbuildings, Co. Londonderry, work upgrading the site’s digital and technological infrastructure, as well as training and marketing.
The firm already exports its range of equipment, which includes tankers, slurry mixers, yard scrapers, trailers and mowers as far as Australia and New Zealand.
It comes on the back of a £1.1 million expansion in 2013 which focused on meeting the demand of European exports.
Chairman of the company, George Fleming, said that despite the company’s success overseas, he still believed there was potential to grow sales – particularly in the USA.
“This £4 million investment will help us to meet our strategic growth plans and boost sales in external markets,” he said.
“Over the past few years, we have developed new products which have helped to significantly improve our sales performance.
With this new investment and the addition of 34 new staff, we hope to break into new markets, including the US and expand our existing sales in Europe.
Fleming outlined that the company’s main goal is to increase sales in external markets and put in place the necessary resources to enable it to service the increased demand for its products.
Invest NI has offered the company £220,000 of support towards the new roles which include production operatives, sales executives and managers.
The 34 staff will be in place by 2020, with 15 of the roles already in place.
Executive director for regional business at Invest NI Des Gartland said: “Fleming Agri Products is a highly regarded business in the north-west area with a strong brand reputation.
“We have offered Fleming Agri Products wide-ranging support over the last number of years, helping the company improve its performance and strengthen its business.”
He praised the company’s pragmatic approach saying it has proven “extremely successful and it is great to see an indigenous company reinvesting in the local area”.
The new jobs being created will generate over £700,000 in additional annual salaries for Northern Ireland’s economy.