PLANNING approval has been granted for £100 million advanced manufacturing facility in Co Antrim.
The Queen’s University-led Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (AMIC) in Newtownabbey is one of the flagship projects of the Belfast Region City Deal (BRCD).
Featuring what has been billed as a ‘factory of the future’, the AMIC has been conceived as a collaboration between academia and industry, based at Invest NI’s Global Point Business Park.
Ulster University and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council are also partners in the project.
The council’s planning committee has now granted planning approval for the development just 25 weeks after the full application was formally lodged.
Made up of three linear 'pavilions', plans for the building include an engineering hall, laboratory and various work and ‘clean room’ spaces.
The business case for the AMIC estimates that the project could be worth £73m in GDP by 2050, potentially supporting 1,500 jobs both directly and indirectly and boosting productivity in the region by as much as 18 per cent over the space of a decade.
Queens University’s BRCD estates programme director Colm Lavery said work should start on site in the spring of 2024.
He said the AMIC will act as a springboard for manufacturing innovation, attracting new investment and opportunities for Northern Ireland globally.
“AMIC will create financial value for the economy, and it will deliver an increase in high quality jobs within AMIC, across the supply chain and the wider economy, whilst also delivering on Social Value as an integral part of our delivery strategy."
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman Stephen Ross said: “AMIC will be a game changer for the industry, offering advanced manufacturing and engineering businesses access to the very latest technology, specialist equipment and expertise.
“This significant investment is a great asset to our borough and will further bolster the council’s plans to transform Global Point into a world-class hub of advanced manufacturing.
“AMIC will join the well-established RLC facility and leading global companies Sensata Technologies and the Ardagh Group who have both secured multi-million-pound investments at Global Point which collectively exceed £300m.”