Co Antrim engineering firm announces plans to create 40 jobs in Ballymena

L to R: Graham Whitehurst, chair of Manufacturing Task Force; Donagh Kelly, director Duneane Engineering; Mayor Cllr William McCaughey; Neil Smyth, production manager Duneane Engineering; and Caitriona Gribben, director Duneane Engineering.

A NEW welding and fabrication business in Co Antrim has announced plans to create 40 jobs in the coming months.

Duneane Engineering has set up at Ballymena's Pennybridge Industrial Estate. The business has taken over the Victoria Works building, once home to Rory Woolf of the Woolf Engineering and Slemish brands.

The company has ties to Toomebridge-based McCauley Trailers through its owners Caitriona Gribben and Donagh Kelly. McCauley is better known via its MAC Trailers brand, which has an international presence in more than 16 overseas markets.

The new engineering firm said it plans to resurrect the Slemish brand and build on Woolf Engineering's past fabrication, welding and precision engineering expertise, with plans to recruit up to 40 welders in early 2022.

Caitriona Gribben, said: “After reviewing a number of locations, we had no hesitation in expanding our presence and establishing Duneane Engineering in Ballymena, the home of Woolf Engineering.”

She said the company's decision to invest in Ballymena was supported by Mid and East Antrim's Manufacturing Task Force.

"We have close ties with Rory and hope in the future to use the Slemish brand once again,” said the company director.

“It has proven to be an attractive location as we have the support of the Mid and East Antrim Manufacturing Task Force and we are confident this region has the availability of talent that we need to grow and develop our new business.”

Chair of the Manufacturing Task Force, Graham Whitehurst, said: “Duneane Engineering is demonstrating the innovation, excellence and creativity that exists in Mid and East Antrim's manufacturing and engineering sector.

“This welcome investment in Ballymena will be a great boost to our local economy and workforce, and the new roles will no doubt be highly sought after.”

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