Fri 12th Feb 2016
County Antrim company is engine of success
Pictured at the event (L-R) are Ann McGregor (NI Chamber); Finance Minister Mervyn Storey; Jonathan McAuley (McAuley Engineering); First Minister Arlene Foster and Stephen Gallagher (SSE Airtricity).
Ballymoney’s McAuley Engineering hosted a visit from First Minister Arlene Foster and Finance Minister Mervyn Storey as part of an event by Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) yesterday (11 February 2016).
The event formed part of the NI Chamber and SSE Airtricity ‘Minister on the Move’ initiative which provides businesses with an opportunity to speak directly with Ministers from the Northern Ireland Executive at a number of locations across the province – whilst also providing them with an opportunity to hear the inspirational success story of a local company.
Employing 150 skilled engineers, McAuley Engineering currently consists of two companies McAuley Precision and McAuley Fabrication and together they service the transport, oil and gas, material handling and aerospace sectors.
Attendees at the event were provide with an overview of the McAuley Engineering success story by Managing Director Jonathan McAuley, before embarking on a tour of the 74,000 square foot facilities.
The event also provided an open forum for delegates to share their views with First Minister Arlene Foster and Finance Minister Mervyn Storey.
Speaking at the event, Finance Minister Mervyn Storey, said:
“I am greatly impressed by the operations of McAuley Engineering here in Ballymoney. They are an exemplar of how innovation and investment can expand a business and make a tremendous contribution not only to the local community but also to the wider economy.”
Whilst addressing attendees on the current role and work of the Department of Finance and Personnel, Minister Storey continued: “I fully recognise the need to support our businesses to grow as we work to secure future prosperity across Northern Ireland. That’s why we are seeking to create a tax and regulatory framework which supports strong business growth. We are working hard to generate the skills, foster innovative capacity and develop our economic infrastructure to sustain progress.
“Of course there is a vital role for the business community in developing the economy. It is for our businesses to seek out and exploit new markets, both at home and abroad. It is for our businesses to recruit more people, to train and up-skill their workforces and to invest in the technologies that will drive competitiveness and, ultimately, economic growth.
“We all share a vision of an economy with a vibrant and prosperous private sector which is competitive on a world stage. I will work relentlessly to secure that vision, both here in North Antrim and across Northern Ireland.”
Commenting on the Minister on the Move initiative, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of NI Chamber, said:
“Chambers of Commerce are committed to helping businesses grow and we see ‘Minister on the Move’ as being an important and mutually beneficial initiative for both business and government. Today’s event created a forum for the open exchange of views leading to a better understanding of the importance of public policy and the economic environment in which we operate. We all have the shared aim of growing the Northern Ireland economy and an initiative such as this one allows us to keep in regular contact along the way.”
Also speaking at the event was Stephen Gallagher, Head of Business at SSE Airtricity, who said:
“SSE Airtricity is delighted to sponsor this Minister on the Move event. We very much value the time taken by Minster Storey to give a departmental update, and we were very fortunate to also be joined by First Minister Foster.
“The benefit of the Minister on the Move event is to bring Ministers and industry stakeholders together at the premises of a host business, which allows attendees to learn about the successes and challenges facing a variety of sectors and any local issues of note. It is an important opportunity to build connections among business people across Northern Ireland. As an energy supplier, SSE Airtricity is always keen to meet with our customers and stakeholders and we thank McAuley Engineering for hosting the event and providing a tour of their facilities, particularly following the recent announcement of their exciting expansion plans.”
McAuley Engineering has quickly established itself as a preferred supplier to many well-known companies throughout Northern Ireland and beyond such as Wrightbus and Bombardier.
In 2010 the company made a large investment by purchasing the old Tyco factory that had been recently shut. Moving from a rural location with about 15000 sq ft they moved into their new 74000 sq ft facility. This enabled the company to grow its range of services and customers.
In October last year McAuley Engineering announced a £5 million investment between the two companies supported by Invest NI with a strong focus on growing within the aerospace sector. The investment will lead to 87 new jobs over the next four years will generate an additional £2.1m annually in additional salaries and create valuable advanced manufacturing employment opportunities in the Causeway Coast and Glens region.