Recruitment is now on following 416 jobs announcement

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The creation of 416 new jobs at a factory in Millbrook will boost the Larne economy by £6 million annually, it has been estimated.

Recruitment has already started at the Japanese-owned Terumo BCT plant at Old Belfast Road and will continue for the next two years.

Expansion plans will also mean the creation of a second Terumo facility at Redlands Industrial Estate.

The jobs boost was first mooted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a reception in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter following the G8 Summit in Co Fermanagh.

It was confirmed by First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness who visited Terumo BCT accompanied by Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster.

The new jobs are being supported by Invest NI to the tune of over £2 million through its Jobs Fund.

Terumo BCT is also investing more than £2 million in two research and development projects, the first research project that will be undertaken in Larne backed by £500,000 of support from Invest NI.

Managing director James McKelvey stressed that between 70 and 80 per cent of the new positions will be in processing. The remainder will be specialist posts.

Terumo BCT manufactures products used in blood banking and flexible bag IV infusion and products used in applications ranging from dialysis, antibiotic drips, epidurals, first aid eye washes and veterinary medicine.

Mr. McKelvey said that the company’s biggest customer is Spain with others in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, South America and the United States.

“This production will grow and continue. It is a global market.

“We are highly successful. We have a wonderful track record in America which delivers growth.”

Currently, there are 260 people employed at Terumo which has been in Larne for the past nine years.

Troy Deppey, vice president, of Terumo BCT, added: “The capability of the Larne facility is renowned throughout the company and our global markets, so I am delighted that with Invest NI’s support, we can grow this facility and really cement our presence here.”