NEWRY based Connex Offsite has announced plans to create 140 jobs over the next five years, in a £2.5 million expansion of its recently established operations.
Launched in February of this year, with a £1.2 million investment, the company specialises in the manufacture of high-end modular bathroom pods for installation by the construction industry in hotels, student accommodation, healthcare facilities and residential markets. The pods are completely finished, walk-in bathrooms that are shrink wrapped on the factory floor and shipped to the construction site.
Part of a family group of successful businesses including Doherty Developments, Re-Gen Waste, Re-Gen Robotics and Re-Eng, Connex currently employs 25 staff with a further 19 sub-contractors and operates out of a 25,000ft2 factory. An additional 60,000ft2 facility has been purchased for refurbishment, as part of its ongoing expansion.
Brendan Doherty, Managing Director of Connex said: “Off-site manufacturing is one of the fastest growing modern methods of building in the UK and is being embraced by the construction industry.
“It demands faster delivery of product into production lines, in some cases up to 20 times faster than traditional construction. So, not only are we reducing costs and saving man hours, we are also manufacturing a better-quality product and providing a controlled environment that is safe and warm and therefore a more pleasant place for our staff to work.
“The construction industry is facing a skills shortage because young adults do not want to work in construction. If we provide good facilities for them to work in, we are more likely to attract the skilled workers that we need.”
As part of its overall strategy, Connex has undertaken extensive market development activities and implemented new software systems to boost its competitiveness. The company has invested in state-of-the-art equipment to maximise its operational capacity and is planning to recruit a further 17 staff members in a variety of roles, this year, to help facilitate its growth plans.
Mr Doherty added: “We’ve just completed our first large project with the Elliot Group worth over £700k, for the delivery of 149-bathroom pods to Bicester in Oxford. Our second project delivered 24 bathroom pods to Ogilvie Construction in Edinburgh and we are currently manufacturing a further 116 pods for the Elliot Group, for Cambridge and Hammersmith, to be delivered before Christmas.
“Sales to date will further strengthen our competitive position and leverage future contracts. Our order book is growing rapidly, we are aiming to achieve substantial growth within the next three to five years and our ambition is to be the premier bathroom pod manufacturer in the UK and Ireland.”