103 Northern Ireland firms access Covid £11m tech grant

Popular grant gave Northern Ireland firms confidence to invest in new technologies.

The Covid-19 Productive Investment Grant (PICG) was used by 103 Northern Ireland businesses to invest in new technology and processes.

Aimed at improving efficiency and resilience, the scheme was developed by Invest Northern Ireland to help businesses to adapt to, and recover from, the challenges of Covid-19.

“We are also seeing an even wider benefit as capital investments, which improve a business’s productivity and profitability, stimulate economic growth”

The scheme received £11m of funding to provide to businesses from the Department’s Economic Recovery Action Plan.

Crucial capital investments

“This was a very popular scheme from day one and received a significant number of applications,” said Northern Ireland Economy Minister Gordon Lyons. “I am delighted my Department was able to provide additional funding through our Economic Recovery Action Plan to ensure more businesses were able to benefit; and that the full £11m provided has been offered to businesses.

“By now, 103 businesses have successfully applied and received an offer of support through the scheme, ensuring they are able to make crucial capital investments to make them more resilient, more profitable, and more productive.”

The Minister was speaking on a visit to IPC Mouldings, one of the 103 businesses to receive support through the scheme. The Carrickfergus-based firm is involved primarily in the aircraft interiors market, designing and manufacturing mould tools and supplying plastic injection moulded products.

IPC Mouldings is a current holder of the prestigious aerospace supply chain excellence SC21 Gold Award. 

“We mainly manufacture products for the aerospace sector, specifically for aircraft interiors so, as you can imagine, our business was heavily impacted by Covid-19 when air travel was significantly reduced,” said Joanne Liddle, managing director, IPC Mouldings.

“However, we saw an opportunity to improve our processes and our efficiency, and at the same time capitalise on new growth opportunities. We are using this support from PICG to purchase three new machines which will not only improve our cycle times but add capacity and capability. This will have a significant impact on our productivity and profitability as we emerge stronger from the crisis.”

Invest NI has supported IPC Mouldings on its growth trajectory with support towards technical development, resource efficiency and trade acceleration. It has offered a PICG grant of £141,695 towards the cost of the capital purchases.

Grainne McVeigh, Invest NI’s Director of Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering, said: “We know this support has given the company confidence to invest in new machinery, in these challenging times. The Productive Investment Capital Grant has helped so many businesses make that important commitment to invest in their future. We are also seeing an even wider benefit as capital investments, which improve a business’s productivity and profitability, stimulate economic growth.”

Main image at top: Northern Ireland Economy Minister Gordon Lyons; Graeme Bennett, Director of IPC Mouldings; Grainne McVeigh, Director of Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering, Invest NI; and Joanne Liddle, Managing Director of IPC Mouldings

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.

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