Newry-founded global domestic appliance group Glen Dimplex is closing its manufacturing base in Portadown, with around 200 jobs expected to go in Northern Ireland over the next two years.
In a major restructuring announcement on Thursday, the company said it will invest €25 million in its Newry site, which will be repurposed into a centre of excellence for the manufacture of zero carbon, renewable heating solutions including heat pumps.
But the reorganisation will see panel and storage heating manufacturing transferring from the group’s sites in Newry and Portadown to a manufacturing site in Lithuania.
Glen Dimplex said that under the proposal, the Portadown site will close, most likely in 2025, with some staff redeploying to Newry, where it said “operations will evolve significantly”.
Around 200 people are employed at the Lurgan Road site in Portadown, which specialises in heating and ventilation products.
Staff at the Co Armagh factory were informed of the proposal on Thursday morning.
Glen Dimplex is one of the world’s largest electric heating manufacturers, employing 8,000 people across 20 countries, including 800 on the island of Ireland.
The company said while the restructuring plan will see around €40m invested within its island-wide operation, many jobs will go in the short-term.
In a statement, the Glen Dimplex said: “Subject to the outcome of a staff consultation process, up to 300 net redundancies are expected between late 2024 and 2026.
“Approximately two thirds of these losses will be in Northern Ireland and one third in Republic of Ireland and similarly, the new roles created will reflect the same spilt. “
“Redundancies are not expected for at least six months.
“Glen Dimplex will now start a consultation process with staff regarding its proposals.”
The company said it anticipates that the repurposing of its operations will eventually create around 200 new roles by 2029, with around 100 expected to be created north of the border.
Set up in Newry during 1973 by Dundalk-born by Martin Naughton, Glen Dimplex’s vast appliance business ranges from radio maker Roberts to Walker televisions and Belling cookers.
In 2022 the company sold its home appliance brand Morphy Richards a stock market-listed company in China for around €185m.
The company said its new restructuring plan, which is expected to involve €50m being invested across its European operation, follows a strategic review of the business.
The plans will also see Glen Dimplex relocate its sales and distribution arm from Cloghran in Co Dublin to Dunleer in Co Louth.
Group chief executive, Fergal Leamy, said: “Our transition will bring significant change and challenge in the near term but also phenomenal opportunities for the next generation and beyond.
“One thing is clear; the status quo is not an option as consumer demand and public policy chart course for zero carbon future.”
The new chief executive of Invest NI, Kieran Donoghue said the move will be “deeply upsetting” for staff in Portadown.
“We will work with the company and those affected to identify alternative employment opportunities and to pursue reskilling opportunities as appropriate,” said the new CEO.
“We will also work closely with the Department for the Economy and the Department for Communities to support the employees impacted by this decision.
“The company has been clear that the decision to consolidate its operations in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is for commercial reasons.
“This restructuring will support its ultimate growth plans and potentially see the firm expand its business in Northern Ireland out of its second site in Newry.”