New recycling centre to create 50 new jobs

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Lindsay Millar, Gallaher Trust Director of Operations Greg McKinley, Usel CEO Bill Atkinson and Usel Chairman James Perry
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Lindsay Millar, Gallaher Trust Director of Operations Greg McKinley, Usel CEO Bill Atkinson and Usel Chairman James Perry

Fifty new jobs are being created in a new recycling centre in Ballymena by a leading social enterprise that finds work for people with disabilities and long term health conditions.

Ulster Supported Employment Ltd (Usel) has opened new 25,000 sq. ft premises in Ballymena as part of its continuing growth in recycling, creating environmentally friendly products and sustainable employment.

The new venture will expand the company’s recycling capacity by 50 per cent, increasing from 1,000 tonnes of material each year to 1500 tonnes.

It operates a circular economy business model, recycling mattresses, carpets, furniture, plastics, cardboard and waste electrical products.

It is the only carpet recycling business in the island of Ireland and the only mattress recycling business in Northern Ireland.

Usel CEO Bill Atkinson said: “We are Northern Ireland’s largest supporter of people with disabilities or health conditions into employment.

“The past year has seen continued growth in our products and services and this new centre will enable us to expand our recycling operations and create 50 more jobs.”

The new facility will create 50 new jobs at the site over the next three years with 20 created in 2019.

Last year, Usel supported more than 900 people to find or sustain employment in Northern Ireland.

The move to Ballymena has been supported by The Gallaher Trust, an independent charity which has the objective of promoting job creation and skills development and providing support to adults in need within the wider Ballymena community.

The Trust was created by JTI (Japan Tobacco International) in response to the closure of its Lisnafillan manufacturing facility in Ballymena and is designed to deliver JTI’s £5million legacy fund to support the local community.

Greg McKinley, Director of Operations for The Gallaher Trust, said: “We are delighted to support USEL in creating 50 new jobs within the Ballymena Area. The Trust was established for the benefit of our local community and it is really great to be a part of such an exciting initiative.”

From its headquarters in Cambrai Street in North Belfast and offices in Portadown, Derry/Londonderry, Omagh and Ballymena the company runs a highly successful manufacturing, recycling and employability business.

Usel manufactures bespoke kit and carry bags for UK emergency services, high quality mattresses and beds and vintage, hand-stitched leather bags.

It also manufactures a range of products for the aerospace, transport, technology and medical sectors, and works in partnership with 150 organisations to provide support to get people back into employment.