On 2 June 2021, Northern Ireland Minister of the Economy Dianne Dodds and Minister of Health Robin Swann visited AIAM’s partner D Company, a high-tech company in Bangor, to speak highly of the important role of its supplies in the rare increase of 130 jobs at the critical moment of COVID-19 employment on the FFP3 Personal Protective Supplies project.
Making the joint announcement, Economy Minister Diane Dodds said:
“Due to COVID-19, there has been an unprecedented global demand for PPE. Very early on in the pandemic D Company took decisive action and repurposed to manufacture PPE. The positive impact of this decision is clearly demonstrated by today’s announcement of new jobs and a contract that will provide PPE to our healthcare workers.”
“The company has moved quickly and has already recruited all 130 jobs and hopes to grow further. Not only is this great news for the Ards and North Down Borough Council area, but also for the wider Northern Ireland economy.”
Health Minister Robin Swann said:
“At the outset, the COVID-19 pandemic caused us to think very differently about how to tackle many issues. We had to urgently consider how best to meet the challenge of protecting our health and social care staff while safely treating COVID-19 patients.
“The demand for PPE in the first surge of the pandemic placed tremendous strain on the health service in Northern Ireland. My procurement officials put a call out to local manufacturing, with Invest NI, to support the supply of critical PPE items. I am delighted that D Company answered this call, particularly with a proposal for a new high grade respirator mask for those staff on the frontline treating COVID-19 patients.”
Kevin Holland, CEO of Invest NI said:
“D company has shown ingenuity and resilience with its move into the manufacturing of PPE. We have been pleased to provide a range of support to the company throughout the pandemic, from advice on standards for masks to assistance towards the new jobs. We look forward to helping it secure new export markets and I know our in-market teams are already working hard to support the company to achieve this.”
CEO of D Group, Kevin McNamee said:
“We are proud of our staff and of our ingenuity over the last year, and the contribution we made during a time of national crisis. As well as helping with the emergency need for PPE, we have invested in a new manufacturing facility, created over 130 jobs and secured this contract with HSCNI.”
“We recently had a visit from two Government Ministers along with the CEO of Invest NI who welcomed the opening of the factory and the creation of 130 new jobs here in Northern Ireland. ”
“AIAM’s supply of materials has been a key part of the this project.”