MID-Ulster's reputation as the global hub for the design and manufacture of world-leading materials handling and recycling equipment has been further enhanced by a significant investment in plant and people at Edge Innovate in Dungannon.
It is investing £8 million into a new 37,500 square feet factory at its Farlough Road industrial estate base in Edendork in a move which will add 80 jobs to its payroll and pump around £2 million a year in wages into the local economy.
Edge, set up 25 years ago, already employs more than 150 people in engineering design, manufacture and technical support, and exports to 50-plus countries in the US, Europe, Asia and Australia.
The company, headed by entrepreneur Darragh Cullen, is implementing a four-year expansion programme focused on innovation, employment, skills development and export growth.
The cash injection, which has been supported to the tune of £957,000 by Invest NI, will allow Edge to expand its production and office facilities, introduce a leadership and skills development programme including a welding academy, and support a wider growth plan as it seeks new business in export markets (its most recent win was a £750,000 order in Oman).
Edge's equipment can be seen working across a wide range of industries like quarry & aggregates, mining, railways, ports & terminals and waste transfer stations, with the Edge brand being supported via a strong distributor network.
Managing director Darragh Cullen said: “The success we've enjoyed in recent years is ultimately a reflection of our people. As part of our growth plans we are investing in our staff with a major leadership and skills development programme across all business areas, including the introduction of a new welding academy.
"We are also growing our team with 80 new staff and are already half way towards this recruitment target. The remainder are to be recruited by 2020.
“At the same time, demand for our products is increasing. This investment ensures we are able to capitalise on this demand with the additional space, equipment and people needed to achieve our export targets. Invest NI’s support in helping us do this at a quicker rate means we are able to capitalise on new export opportunities."
Invest NI head Alastair Hamilton said: “Edge Innovate is a global exporter on a significant growth trajectory. We have worked closely with the company for a number of years now across many markets, and it's a pleasure to visit to see the results of their commitment.
“While the new roles will generate nearly £2m annually in additional salaries once all are in place, equally important is the investment in training for staff, which will make a positive contribution to the collaborative work ongoing across Mid Ulster to build the skills pipeline in this industry.”
In 2017, the last full year for which accounts have been submitted, Edge Innovate made a profit of £1.4 million on sales which grew to more than £19 million.