Open day at Advance Engineering

Pictured is a camper which is being made by Ballymena based company Advance  Engineering which is holding its first open day at its Pennybridge site on August 5. (Submitted Picture).
Pictured is a camper which is being made by Ballymena based company Advance Engineering which is holding its first open day at its Pennybridge site on August 5. (Submitted Picture).

A local award winning social enterprise is holding its first open day on Wednesday, August 5, from 2pm to 7pm in Pennybridge.

Advance Engineering is opening its doors for you to come and see what they’ve been up to since they began business in October 2013.

At that time they opened with three staff and 10 part-time trainees - now there are a total of 32 people working and training alongside each other in this award winning enterprise with another 30 people expected to join this coming Autumn.

Such is the interest in the enterprise that many guests have already confirmed their attendance at the open day event including Mid & East Antrim Mayor Billy Ashe, local politicians, as well as customers and suppliers who support the enterprise.

Alastair Patton, Operations Manager at Advance Engineering says: “We are looking forward to opening our doors and telling everyone about the work we do, but more importantly why we do it. We are asking you to come and see what happens when people are encouraged that they can learn new skills, that they can have a purpose in life.”

Advance Engineering produce a range of products mainly for the automotive industry - heat and sound insulation parts, component assemblies, fibreglass and upholstery components.

The business supports the work of Compassion Ministries Ltd, a local Christian charity helping those with life controlling issues.

Alastair says: “100% of our profits go to Compassion Ministries Ltd and we also provide the work placement element for the people going through their programmes. It’s a great opportunity to use the knowledge and skills of our mentor staff to train these people up in new skills and at the same time generate profit to give back into the charity.

“At the open day we’ll be letting everyone know how they can get involved in this social enterprise - for example by joining a training programme, joining our mentor staff or by supporting our business directly in some other way.

“I’d encourage anyone who has an interest in what we do, or an interest in social enterprise as a whole to come along and chat to our staff and trainees at the open day.

“We’ll have a great BBQ laid on for everyone and hopefully send you home well fed and inspired to get involved.”

Advance Engineering are launching a new product at their open day and guests will be the first to see and hear about this innovation. It’s a product that utilises waste from the existing manufacturing process and removes that waste from landfill.

Mervyn Carson at Advance Engineering who is leading the development of this new products says: “This product came about as a result of our desire at Advance to innovate and reduce our waste. We’ve designed and tested this product and our initial results are extremely positive. We’ve researched our market and believe this simple, yet effective product will be very popular with the public. This product is a new departure for us as it’s outside the automotive industry we specialise in, but we’ve spent time getting it right and are excited to bring this to you”

Advance Engineering is located at Unit 6, Site 9 Pennybridge Industrial Estate and everyone is welcome to join the team on the day anytime from 2pm to 7pm. If you are planning to attend the open day please email ‘projects@advance-eng.com’