Belfast building products company to expand

Image caption, Larsen's £8 million powder plant in Belfast's docklands area

A leading Northern Ireland manufacturer of building products is set to expand following a 14% increase in turnover.

Larsen Building Products has announced it is recruiting additional workers and adding another production shift.

It currently employs around 100 people at its Belfast plant producing a variety of products used in tiling, flooring and rendering.

Managing director Peter McGill said investing £8m in a new plant had given the company a competitive edge.

"We were fortunate that we took the decision to build this plant when we did," he said.

"It's the most sophisticated in Ireland, and there are only one or two others to match it in the whole of the UK.

"It has meant that we have been able to develop our markets throughout the UK, and particularly in the south of England."


He said it had also allowed Larsen to survive the virtual disappearance of its market in the Republic of Ireland.

"The market in the Republic has been decimated in recent years," Mr McGill said.

"We are not really looking for any more business down there at the moment. We are concentrating on consolidating our business in Northern Ireland, which is a difficult enough market as well."

However, he remains concerned about the possible effects of the cutbacks in public sector spending.

"We have supplied our products to projects in Downpatrick, Kilkeel, and Portadown, and we're currently working on renovating the market square in Crewe and on a project in Dundee for the city council.

"But I would be concerned that these are the kind of projects that might be affected by the cutbacks, as might some of our work on major housing developments."

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