Construction of £100m Co Antrim Innovation centre moves closer as contractor appointed

The project is part of the Belfast Region City Deal and will receive almost £80m of funding from the UK Government.

The construction of a £100 million Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (AMIC) in Co Antrim has taken a major step forward with the appointment of a contractor. The project is part of the Belfast Region City Deal and will receive almost £80m of funding from the UK Government. Henry Brothers has won the £30m contract to construct the 10,500 square metre Factory Of The Future building at Global Point Business Park in Newtownabbey.

The AMIC aims to reinvigorate Northern Ireland’s industrial potential and address the technology and skills challenges faced by the region’s manufacturing sector. It is designed to create jobs by supporting local companies to be more competitive on a global scale, attract new investment and ensure the skilled workforce needed for the future. The project is being delivered by the Queen’s University Belfast in partnership with Ulster University, industry, and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and supported by the UK Government and Northern Ireland Executive. By 2050, it is estimated that the AMIC will have contributed more than £1bn to the local economy, directly and indirectly created over 1,500 permanent jobs and supported the training of 300 apprentices. Professor Sir Ian Greer, president and vice-chancellor of Queen’s University, said their focus is to drive sustainable economic growth. “Queen’s vision as a civic university and a Belfast Region City Deal partner is to create tangible impact where it truly matters,” he said. “We are determined to drive societal progress for generations to come through delivering three Innovation Centres in advanced manufacturing, clinical research and secure, connected digital technologies. “Connecting our underpinning high-quality research with industry, government and the manufacturing sector will turbocharge our region’s capabilities and embed a culture of innovation to act as a driver for increased productivity. “Our focus is on driving sustainable economic growth to have a positive impact on the lives of people across Northern Ireland.” Henry Brothers, headquartered in Magherafelt, with more than 200 employees based across Northern Ireland, England and Scotland, was awarded the construction contract after a competitive tendering process. Planning permission for the building was given in May, and it is hoped that construction work at the site can start next spring. It is aimed that the AMIC will be operating from the Factory Of The Future by 2026, with capacity for 150 staff.

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