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80 new jobs at laser engineering firm Hutchinson Group

22 Dec 2015

Part of £4m investment in Northern Irish manufacturer of diverse industrial components.

Northern Ireland’s Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Jonathan Bell has announced Hutchinson Group’s plans to create 80 new jobs at its Kilrea and Antrim sites as part of a £4.1m (€5.5m) investment. Hutchinson is one of the UK and Ireland’s leading subcontracting laser and metal fabrication companies.

The development plans, which are supported by Invest Northern Ireland, include recruiting additional skilled staff and purchasing new technology to enable Hutchinson to target high-value markets in automotive, aerospace and materials-handling sectors.

The new roles consist of a mix of advanced manufacturing roles, business development and sales and marketing across the Group. Some 40 of these roles have already been filled.

Earlier in 2015, Hutchinson announced a £3.2m investment in two new laser materials processing systems and its new 60,000 sq ft, manufacturing site in Kilrea, signaling its confidence and commitment to growth. Bell said, “Hutchinson has experienced steady growth in recent years. This latest investment in leading edge technology will significantly enhance the firm’s engineering capabilities and enable it to secure new business in its target markets.

“The engineering sector accounts for a large proportion of manufactured exports from Northern Ireland. The 80 new jobs, to be recruited over the next three years, will generate £1.85 million annually in additional salaries and create valuable manufacturing employment opportunities in the Causeway Coast and Glens and surrounding council areas.

’Double revenue’ plan

Mark Hutchinson, managing director of Hutchinson Engineering said, "Our objective is to double business revenue over the next three years. We aim to achieve this by growing our customer base and differentiating ourselves in competitive global markets by providing value added products and services.

He added, "Investing in state of the art technology, additional skilled staff and further expanding our manufacturing capabilities at Kilrea will help us to achieve this goal.

“Our longstanding relationship with Invest NI has been hugely beneficial and its continued support will help us to underpin our competitive position across the high value automotive, aerospace and materials handling sectors. We aim to build on our success to date and will continue to work closely with academia and industry to ensure a pipeline of fabrication skills in the future.”

Formed in 1971, Hutchinson Engineering is a leading sub contract laser and metal fabrication firm with a sister specialist aerospace arm, AeroTech, based in Antrim and a design company, H360, co-located with Hutchinson Engineering in Kilrea.

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.

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