130 new jobs created in Bangor in £19.5m PPE contract

A total of 130 new jobs are to be created at a manufacturing company in Bangor.

The roles are to be created at Denroy in a £19.5m PPE contract with Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland.

The new contract will see Denroy manufacture and supply FFP3 masks to HSCNI from its new manufacturing facility in Bangor, Co Down.

To support Denroy to deliver the contract, Invest Northern Ireland has offered the company £1.5m of support towards 130 jobs.

Making the joint announcement, Economy Minister Diane Dodds said: “Over the last 50 years, the Denroy Group has become synonymous with innovation through its cutting edge product development and manufacturing of specialist aerospace components and award-winning hair products.

“Due to Covid-19, there has been an unprecedented global demand for PPE. Very early on in the pandemic, Denroy took decisive action and repurposed to manufacture PPE.

"The positive impact of this decision is clearly demonstrated by today’s announcement of new jobs and a contract that will provide PPE to our healthcare workers.

“The company has moved quickly and has already recruited all 130 jobs and hopes to grow further."

Economy Minister Diane Dodds said the announcement will not only benefit the local economy, but also the wider Northern Ireland economy. Credit: UTV

Health Minister Robin Swann said: “At the outset, the Covid-19 pandemic caused us to think very differently about how to tackle many issues.

"We had to urgently consider how best to meet the challenge of protecting our health and social care staff, while safely treating Covid-19 patients.

“The demand for PPE in the first surge of the pandemic placed tremendous strain on the health service in Northern Ireland."

Health Minister Robin Swann also attended today's jobs announcement. Credit: UTV

Mr Swann added: "My procurement officials put a call out to local manufacturing, with Invest NI, to support the supply of critical PPE items.

"I am delighted that Denroy answered this call, particularly with a proposal for a new high-grade respirator mask for those staff on the frontline treating Covid patients.

“To develop a brand new product, create prototypes and have it tested, certified and considered fit for purpose within six months is quite remarkable.

"While I applaud Denroy for its innovation and vision, I must also recognise the work of key health staff who worked closely with Denroy innovators to refine the mask and robustly test new prototypes to get this mask in production.”

Denroy’s FFP3 single use mask was designed by the company’s aerospace engineers and filters 99% of particles from the air, including the small respiratory droplets where coronavirus can be found.

Face masks being created at Denroy's factory in Bangor Credit: UTV

The masks will be used by frontline workers across Northern Ireland, from intensive care staff to community care staff.

CEO of Denroy Group Kevin McNamee said: “We are proud of our staff and of our ingenuity over the last year, and the contribution we made during a time of national crisis.

"As well as helping with the emergency need for PPE, we have invested over £3m in a new manufacturing facility, created over 130 jobs and secured this £19.5m contract with HSCNI.

“Our plans are to grow our business further, create more jobs, and build on this contract."

CEO of Denroy Group Kevin McNamee says he hopes the new contract will help the firm grow into markets in RoI, GB and the USA. Credit: UTV

Invest NI has offered Denroy Group Ltd £1.5m of support towards the creation of all 130 jobs, which includes a repayable loan of £900,000. The company has already created all of the new jobs.

Kevin Holland, CEO of Invest NI, said: “Denroy has shown ingenuity and resilience with its move into the manufacturing of PPE.

"We have been pleased to provide a range of support to the company throughout the pandemic, from advice on standards for masks to assistance towards the new jobs.

"We look forward to helping it secure new export markets and I know our in-market teams are already working hard to support the company to achieve this.”