Business

Food oil firm Frylite's £2m Lisburn investment could fuel 60 jobs

Eamon McCay, managing director at Frylite
Gary McDonald Business Editor

STRABANE-based cooking oil specialist Frylite has opened a new depot in Lisburn in a £2 million investment which will initially bring 25 new jobs to the city but which could grow to as many as 60.

It's the hospitality supplier's sixth depot, complementing existing bases in Coleraine, Cork, Dublin and Galway as well as its main Co Tyrone headquarters site.

Frylite said the new facility will meet the demands of its growing customer base in and around greater Belfast, an area previously served by its Strabane depot, while also supporting its drive to zero carbon emissions.

Managing director Eamon McCay said: “Initial plans for staffing at Lisburn involve the recruitment of 25 staff but there is capacity for up to 60 team members, with roles in delivery, warehousing, sales and other areas.

“We also anticipate that the growth of our food waste collection business and our oil and waste oils business will drive the need for a total of 60 new staff members who will work solely from the Lisburn base.”

The announcement comes after the company published its annual accounts for the year to April, a full 12 months operating within the Covid era, in which it saw its turnover fall by £6 million to £33.7m and its bottom-line profit plunge from £1.2m to just over £270,000.

Frylite operations director Martin Gormley said: “For decades we've grown our client portfolio in and around Belfast and Lisburn areas, so it made sense to open a new depot here rather than service customers from Strabane.

“Being closer allows us to meet customers' daily needs in a shorter time frame with less travelling, which in turn has a better impact on the environment and improves our customer service.

“It's an efficient business model that offers more competitive pricing for our customers too and we are very optimistic about the growth this will bring to the business.”

The opening comes as Frylite assigns 2021 as the year for its “green revolution” during which it has plans to use its oil products to produce fuel via anaerobic digestion to power its fleet of vehicles and setting it on the road to becoming a carbon neutral business by 2030.

As well as recruiting staff for the Lisburn depot, Frylite is also seeking new HGV drivers.

But is set against the backdrop of the UK's haulage industry struggling with a shortage of more than 100,000 drivers out of a pre-pandemic total of 600,000, according to the Road Haulage Association.

The new facility, designed by Manor Architects and built by Woodvale Construction in conjunction with Frylite, boasts sharp contemporary external cladding with composite Kingspan wall panel to create a modern industrial facility consisting of offices, a canteen, and a split warehouse for new oil storage and repurposing.

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