Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland construction firms create almost 100 jobs

Construction worker on roof Image copyright PA
Image caption Most Northern Ireland firms which are growing have done so by winning contracts in England and Scotland.

Two Northern Ireland construction firms have announced expansion plans that could create almost 100 jobs.

Dowds group which specialises in mechanical and electrical services is creating 46 jobs.

The Ballymoney-based firm is being assisted with a £192,000 grant from Invest NI.

Thornton Roofing, a Toome-based firm, plans to add 50 jobs as part of an £8m expansion.

As part of the growth programme, Thorntons plans to expand its facilities at Toomebridge with the addition of a new 1,000 sq m building.

Both firm are targeting growth in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

Dowds managing director James Dowds, said: "In addition to Invest NI's contribution, we have committed around £1m to expand our presence in England, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

"We have secured contracts which will see our turnover increase by 35% for 2016 and we will continue our investment in new talent to build a stronger company and further develop our customer base."

Thornton managing director Stephen Thornton said his company was benefitting from the recovery of the UK's construction sector.

"Whilst we do work in the Republic of Ireland and Britain, from time to time, our core business over the last five decades has been drawn from Northern Ireland latterly in the form of projects like the Waterfront Hall.

"A key element in our growth programme, however, will be securing contracts in England and Scotland."

Official figures suggest the Northern Ireland construction sector finally began to recover in 2015 after a long depression.

Most firms which are growing have done so by winning contracts in England and Scotland.

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