Investment at former Volex plant to create up to 200 jobs

Posted in Connect on February 24, 2016.

Three companies have announced that they’re setting up operations in the former Volex plant in Castlebar. BrightBeam, Hungry Planet Technology and Food 360 have confirmed they are setting up operations at the at the Global Sustainability Centre (GSC) being established at the site.

GSIOpensparkz Limited has appointed Ballinrobe based contractors Tim Kelly Group to convert the former Volex plant on the Breaffy Road into a manufacturing facility. The premises were sold by Mayo County Council to Opensparkz who are establishing a Global Sustainability Centre at the former Volex plant as part of their Global Sustainability Initiative (GSI).

Australian-based solar lighting company BrightBeam has announced plans to relocate their main assembly plant to the Castlebar facility, where the company will manufacture its LED solar lighting products, and expects to create up to 60 jobs in the coming year. BrightBeam General Manager, James Fraser, said “The culture and quality of the Irish workforce is a big plus for us. Our focus is on sustainable solar solutions for the HumanitarianBright-Beam-products Community. Many of the world’s largest NGOs use BrightBeam solutions to support one of the multitude of challenges faced by Internally Displaced People.”

BrightBeam is already working with Mayo-based Electric Skyline as their installation and maintenance partner for their lights. “Having access to a local manufacturing facility will ensure we are well positioned to service our local customers who include the main councils in the West of Ireland, who need to replace their conventional street lights with Solar-powered lights in time” says Sean Corcoran, Managing Director of Electric Skyline ltd.

vertical farmingVertical farming equipment manufacturer Hungry Planet Technology, based in Austin, Texas, is also relocating its corporate headquarters and manufacturing facilities to the Castlebar plant, and hopes to create up to 100 jobs.

The move is expected to provide Hungry Planet with less costly access to rapidly growing international markets, reduce raw material transportation costs, and improve the company’s competitive cost advantages. Company officials expect to open the first production line by April of 2016, and to add as many as 100 positions in the coming year.

Food 360, a Galway-based company involved in the distribution of food products, provide innovative services to farmers and food producers offering a food 360reliable path to the market or the consumer with a global reach, the company was founded by Declan Droney of Kinvara Smoked Salmon and Brendan Allen of Castlemine Farm.

Located within the Global Sustainability Centre in Castlebar, Food 360’s operation will be a distribution centre and an incubation kitchen, where potential food entrepreneurs will have access to state of the art HACCP-approved production facilities. This will prove an invaluable resource to potential entrepreneurs to create, develop and test products that are healthy and sustainable.

Castlebar-based FG Councillor Cyril Burke says up to 200 jobs could be created by these three companies, “This project is a global play and will have a significant impact on Castlebar and Mayo into the future.”

He praised Mayo Count Council officials as well as the Local Enterprise Office for their collaboration on the project and Opensparkz for delivering the project to Mayo.

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