NI firm MJM lands cruise ship work at Belfast shipyard

By Julian O'Neill
BBC News NI Business Correspondent

image copyrightPress Eye
image captionA spokesman for Harland and Wolff said it was 'delighted' with the deal

A multi-million pound contract to refurbish a cruise ship has been won by a Newry firm, with all work to be done in Belfast.

MJM Group said it paves the way for future projects.

The 11-deck liner Azamara Pursuit, owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises, will arrive at Harland and Wolff in April for a full interior refit.

MJM, which employs 240 people, said it would be "one of the first major refits of a cruise liner in a UK dry dock".

Profits rose

Cruise ship refits are mostly done in North America, Asia and continental Europe and it is a sector worth more than £2bn annually.

Company chief executive Gary Annett said: "This has the potential to be a game changer.

"We worked hard to put together a case for Northern Ireland.

"We have always had the ambition to revive the rich shipbuilding history here."

The family-run business was established in 1983, and also owns Mivan in Antrim.

It has a track record in cruise ship work and is currently involved in projects in China.

According to its last accounts, profits rose in 2016 by almost 50% to £6m.

A spokesman for Harland and Wolff said it was "delighted" with the deal, and hoped others would follow.