Business

Green light for O'Neills expansion in Strabane

Sportswear brand O'Neills has been given the green light to expand its Strabane base
Gareth McKeown

COUNCIL planners have approved proposals for an extensive expansion at O'Neills sportswear in Strabane, which could create 170 new jobs.

The company, which employs over 700 people on the island of Ireland is increasing the size of its Strabane manufacturing plant, with plans for a new storage distribution facility and shop complex approved on Tuesday by Derry City and Strabane District Council.

The new development is to be located on the former Porter's Clothing factory at the junction of the Melmount Road and Dublin Road Industrial Estate, beside the current facility. The land has been a vacant brownfield site since the Porter's factory closed and was subsequently demolished in the 1990s.

Once complete the new 4,465 sq m complex could create as many as 170 jobs according to West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan. He welcomed the approval of the development plans.

"I am glad that Tyrone companies such as O'Neills are continuing to expand and increase employment and investment in the area.

“O'Neills has sent a strong message that they are open for business, that they are increasing investments and that they believe in the local skilled workforce. In a landscape of pressures and challenges, I am proud of local Tyrone companies who are at the forefront of innovation and are adapting to new and existing markets.”

The approval of development plans for O'Neills in Strabane comes just a week after the company was confirmed as the latest tenant at Marlborough Retail Park in Craigavon. The new 14,000 sq ft store, due to open around September, is set to create 30 jobs.

Speaking at the time Stephen Thompson from O'Neills said the company was proud to open in one of the north's "most vibrant and dynamic shopping towns".

“The store will breathe energy, heritage, authenticity and originality, showcasing how far the brand has evolved during its 100-year history."

Founded in 1918, O'Neills is now the largest sportswear manufacturing company in Ireland, with extensive manufacturing plants in Strabane and Dublin. The company also has established sales offices in Dublin, London and Belfast.

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