Michelin Invests £14 million in Ballymena Tyre Plant
Northern Ireland Economy Minister Nigel Dodds has announced a £14 million investment in manufacturing and staff training at Michelin’s Ballymena plant. The Ballymena truck and bus tyre plant manufactures products that are primarily exported to North America and Europe. According to the company, the investment will enable Michelin to maximise production efficiency through the introduction of “automated” machinery alongside a targeted training programme for all staff.
No precise details about what equipment the manufacturer will purchase have been released, however a statement on the subject said 11 separate projects would be initiated including the installation of “the latest automated production lines.”
The exact investment totals £13,778,927, of which Invest NI has offered £2,636,678 towards the development. The training support offered by Invest NI as part of this project will be part funded through the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Announcing the investment at the factory today, the Minister said: “With this significant investment, backed by Invest Northern Ireland, Michelin will place itself at the forefront of the market by making use of the latest technology and complementing this with tailored training right across its workforce. Michelin has been established in Ballymena for almost 40 years and this latest investment, coupled with a culture of innovation and embracing change, demonstrates the company’s continuing commitment to the area.”
Graham Whitehurst, Factory Manager of Michelin, Ballymena, said: “As the largest bus and truck tyre manufacturer in the UK, we are always aware of the need to continuously improve our performance in order to sustain our position in the global marketplace. This investment in both our infrastructure and staff will improve our capability even further and put us in a strong position to bid for new work packages on Michelin Group’s latest tyre innovations as they come to the market.”
Michelin’s Ballymena plant was built in 1969. The factory employs 1100 people and has a daily production capacity of around 4000 truck tyres.