AFTER four years and £6million investment, Strabane’s Invest NI business park is getting its first tenant.
Opened in March 2013, the 15-acre site on the Melmount Road was designed to address the shortage of industrial land available across the district.
Now the identity of its first business can be revealed. Strabane-based food manufacturer Dragon Brand Foods is set to open a new 7,500 square feet manufacturing facility as part of a £550,000 investment.
News of the plan was first reported by the Strabane Chronicle in September 2016, when a planning application was lodged with Derry City and Strabane District Council.
However the identity of the business remained under wraps, until now.
Dragon Brand Foods has been in operation since 2005. Currently based at the Orchard Road Industrial Estate in Strabane, the company is headed by three directors: Paul McGuigan, Patrick McGuigan and Maria Harley.
Its £550,000 investment includes a £153,563 contribution from Invest NI, which will help create four new roles to research and develop a new range of ‘free from’ sauces, dips and condiments for the more health conscious consumer. The company also plans to drive its growth over the border.
Commenting on the announcement, Paul McGuigan said, “Our strategy is to pursue growth through investing in new products and innovation. Invest NI is providing us with invaluable support which is helping to safeguard our future and accelerate the future growth of our business.”
“Building work for our new factory has already commenced and we look forward to growing our workforce to help us deliver valuable new contracts, particularly in the UK and ROI markets.”
Dragon Brand Foods is due to begin construction of the new factory.
Invest NI’s north west regional manager Des Gartland described the Strabane company as “a highly ambitious and export focused business with innovation at its core”.
He said, “The company is using a range of Invest NI support to drive efficiencies which will enhance its competitiveness in the global marketplace.
“The company’s decision to build a new factory at Strabane Business Park is a significant commitment and has involved a lot of preparatory work. I am pleased we have been able to help the company through this process and I look forward to seeing their plans come to fruition.”
Mr Gartland also said that he hopes that the announcement will act as a catalyst for further investment into the Strabane area.