$10m injection shows Longford is 'place to be'

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Finesse

An artist's impression of the new look development at Finesse Medical

A decision by one of Longford’s fastest growing manufacturing firm’s to create 200 new jobs by virtue of a $10m investment has been described as a “massive news story” for the county.

New York-listed healthcare giant Avery Dennison last week shook hands on an announcement with its Irish and Longford based partner, Finesse Medical which will enable the local manufacturer to expand its manufacturing potential to an ever changing and evolving global marketplace.

Finesse, which last year was acquired by Avery in a multimillion euro deal, currently employs around 125 employees from its state of the art facility just off Longford town’s Ballinalee Road.

The eight figure injection announceLongford set for 200 jobs boostd by the US multinational last Thursday is expected to incorporate a 6,000 sq metre expansion, creating 200 new positions in the process.

“The expansion project is important for Dennison and our industrial and healthcare business for many reasons,” said Avery vice president Michael Johansen.

ALSO READ: Longford set for 200 jobs boost

“We operate in a highly competitive, global business environment.

“Building on the manufacturing strengths that Finesse Medical has developed here in Longford will allow us to optimise our investment in our manufacturing capabilities.

“We also operate in a rapidly changing world where innovation is essential to compete and effectively succeed.”

Martin Dowd, one of three co-founders of Finesse, waxed lyrical over the indigenous firm’s rise to prominence from its relatively modest beginnings just over a decade ago.

“We have worked very hard to bring Finesse to this stage and today is our next stage in this journey,” he told an assembled horde of invited guests inside a specially constructed marquee.

Harking back to its fledgling beginnings inside the Athlone Road’s Royal Canal Business Park with barely half a dozen employees, two pieces of equipment and a 10,000 sq ft premises to call home, the company will have matured by more than ten times its original size when construction on its 6,000sq metre expansion comes to a projected close in the autumn of 2019.

“Today we are delighted to share this significant investment in our business and community and this is a very exciting time for Finesse,” said Mr Dowd.

“By expanding our operations and focusing our experience and expertise and capabilities in medical device, manufacturing and finished product converting will allow us to continue to support our customers with additional manufacturing capability and state of the art capabilities.”

Those leanings certainly were not lost on a gleeful Cllr Martin Mulleady.

The county's first citizen said the scale of the investment being set aside by Avery Dennison was symptomatic of Longford's much changed fiscal landscape.

“This is a massive news story for Longford,” he beamed.

“We have come from a low base over the last few years and we, business people included, have been trying to get Longford back on track and it is coming back and coming back on track very, very fast.

“It is the place to be.”

Those in Avery Dennison certainly seem to think so and the $10m they have ring-fenced as part of its latest leap of faith in Longford's local economy is undeniable testament to that belief.