Kilkeel manufacturing SMEs investing over £650,000 to increase business growth

Peter Bayne


Peter Bayne


Monday 14 February 2022 10:37

THREE Kilkeel based manufacturing SMEs are investing over £650,000 collectively to grow their businesses in Great Britain and RoI. J N Hire, Mourne Craft and Anachem Hygiene will also create 12 jobs as part of their investments.

Welcoming the local investments, Mark Bleakney, Invest Northern Ireland’s Southern Regional Manager, said: “It was great to meet with J N Hire, Mourne Craft and Anachem Hygiene today to hear about their plans to grow their businesses in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area. Each of these SMEs is well established in Kilkeel and has contributed positively to the economic growth of the area for many years.

“Investments like these align with The Department for the Economy’s 10X Economic Vision as they ensure Northern Ireland will become a more enterprising region that supports business development, particularly in a regional area. Our Southern regional team has worked closely with each of these companies to offer specific advice and support tailored to their individual business needs to help them invest in local job creation and secure global sales.”

Combined, the companies will create 12 local jobs, which will contribute over £320,000 in additional annual salaries to the economy.

Mark added: “We look forward to continuing to support these businesses as they grow and enhance their international competitiveness, while adding value to the local Kilkeel business community, and the wider Newry, Mourne and Down Council area.”

Invest NI has offered £78,750 of support towards the new jobs, and marketing activities.

Speaking about its latest investment, James Norris, Managing Director of plant hire and manufacturing company J N Hire, said: “We’ve steadily grown our business over the years, and have recently started manufacturing hydraulics and specialist PPE for the fishing and marine sectors, which has boosted our exporting potential. To capitalise on growth opportunities in GB, RoI and across Europe, Invest NI is supporting us to create six jobs that will expand our team’s expertise and capacity. It has also provided support for marketing activities that will help us build our brand in international markets.”

Invest NI’s wide range of business support can be explored at

Mourne Craft specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of external stainless steel and glass balustrades and internal staircases for commercial and residential projects. The company is currently selling in GB and RoI, and Invest NI support is helping to strengthen this success. Ronald McConnell, Partner, Mourne Craft, said: “We’ve been working with Invest NI’s Southern regional team since 2018, and its advice and guidance has been instrumental to our growth so far. We’re now experiencing an increase in demand for our products in the new-build construction market and hiring three new staff will enable us to target this new market in both GB and RoI and secure more sales.”

Anachem Hygiene is also investing in its business to increase its exports in RoI, and break into the GB market. Founder and Managing Director, Joe Annett, said: “We’ve been developing and manufacturing cleaning chemicals for professional, industrial and automotive sectors from our Kilkeel facility for over 20 years. To expand our product portfolio and keep up with our competitors, we’ve developed new environmentally friendly cleaning solutions. This has created a significant market opportunity for us to target new business in RoI such as care homes, schools, and hospitals, and also build our presence in GB. Invest NI’s support to grow our team with three new staff will allow us to continue innovating and increase production, which will in turn increase our sales success.”

This support is part funded by the Department for the Economy Economic Recovery Action Plan.

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