Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell has welcomed a £4million capital investment by W&G Baird that will help boost the printing firm’s sales outside Northern Ireland.
The Antrim-based company has installed new press, folding and bindery machines that will expand its capabilities and boost the efficiency and competitiveness of the business.
The investment will enable the company to secure highly skilled engineering employment in the long term and allow for expansion in the future
Commenting at the official launch of the new equipment, Mr Bell said: “W&G Baird has a long and distinguished history within the printing industry and this investment to upgrade the company’s equipment cements its commitment to future growth.
“I am pleased W&G Baird have benefited from a Growth Loan Fund loan of £500,000 as well as £99,500 of support from Invest Northern Ireland to support its development.
“Innovation and continuous development is central to business success and this new machinery will not only position W&G Baird competitively in its target markets but also help to reduce its environmental impact.”
Patrick Moffett, Managing Director of W&G Baird, added: “Against a changing landscape in Northern Ireland’s printing industry we identified the need to upgrade and improve our in-house printing and bindery capabilities. Installing this new equipment is a major investment for the business which will help safeguard our future.
“Invest NI’s support and the loan from the Growth Loan Fund has enabled us to implement our expansion strategy promptly so that we can take advantage of new business opportunities. We are encouraged by the uplift in performance to date and hope our new machinery will continue to strengthen the business and help us leverage new sales outside Northern Ireland.”
Finance for the £50million Growth Loan Fund – which provides loans to established Northern Ireland SMEs seeking to access growth finance – has been provided by Invest Northern Ireland and private investor, Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC). The Growth Loan Fund is managed by WhiteRock Capital Partners.
Paul Millar, Chief Investment Officer at WhiteRock Capital Partners commented: “This multi-million pound investment in R&D demonstrates a long term commitment to innovation and growth.
“There is a strong management team in place to lead the company into the next phase of development, placing the firm as one of the most technologically advanced printing plants in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
“The owner’s ability to adapt and understand structural changes in the printing industry over the past several years has been a key driver to their success. W&G Baird are the perfect example of the type of company the Growth Loan Fund is keen to support.”