Derry is well placed to secure new US investment to create high-quality jobs in the aerospace industry, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has said.
The Sinn Fein MLA was speaking yesterday after meeting with representatives of local firm Maydown Precision Engineering (MPE) and a leading US airline manufacturer at Stormont.
Mr McGuinness said: “Gearóid O’hEara and I were delighted to welcome MPE to Stormont discuss the potential of the industry in terms of creating investment and well paid, high value jobs in the north west.
“We visited MPE recently and were extremely impressed by everything we saw.
“This is a local company which has firmly established itself as a major player in the global aerospace industry. They have a fantastic, state-of-the-art facility at Maydown and a highly skilled, committed workforce manufacturing bespoke airline parts.”
Mr McGuinness added that MPE was “very much a local success story” and described it as “bursting with potential in terms of attracting international investment and creating significant numbers of quality jobs”.
He added: “We also held discussions with one of the major US-based companies which is currently considering expanding its relationship with MPE.
“They will be making significant new investments in the near future and I was very pleased to have the opportunity to directly make the case for them to consider Derry as a location.
“I believe the north west is extremely well placed to secure this kind of investment and the employment it will create.
“We have a young, highly skilled population and, in companies like MPE, a proven track record in aerospace manufacturing.
“For our part, we will ensure that all possible support and assistance is provided at government level to help attract this kind of investment to the north west.”
MPE currently employs around 160 people at its plant in Maydown and has an annual turnover of over £7m.
Last year saw the engineering firm create 40 of those jobs after a new investor came on board, Manchester-based A2E Venture Catalysts.
MPE managing director Sean Phelan was also awarded the Derry Journal Business Person of the Year Award at the Everglades last year.