US engineering firm Caterpillar’s decision to invest £5.4m in its Larne factory has been welcomed by local politicians.
The move will expand the company’s Northern Ireland truck parts manufacturing operation, and will see axles permanently sourced from the local plant.
And crucially, Caterpillar expects the decision will maintain up to 100 jobs at the factory.
Larne Mayor Councillor Maureen Morrow said: “This is very good news for the workforce and the local community here in Larne. I would like to pay tribute to Caterpillar and their local management for recognising the high standard of the facilities, processes, skills and expertise here in Larne alongside the advantages of our location in terms of proximity to customers, access to ports and other transportation infrastructure.”
East Antrim MLA Alastair Ross said the move was “testament to the quality and expertise located in the plant, and proof that production plants in Northern Ireland can help the company remain globally competitive”.
He added: “Local representatives remain willing to work with the company and Invest NI to attract more production lines to Larne and hopefully the two plants located in East Antrim can benefit from an upturn in the economy.”
Robert Kennedy, Caterpillar’s NI operations director said: “This important announcement primarily recognises the high standard of the facilities, processes, skills and expertise in NI.
“It is also a testament to the cost competitiveness of manufacturing in Northern Ireland and advantages the local facilities have in terms of proximity to customers, access to ports and other transportation infrastructure.”