22 May 2022

Arrival of US tech firm to Limerick town is ‘biggest thing to happen for 30 years'

Arrival of US tech firm to Limerick town is ‘biggest thing to happen for 30 years'

Ortec says it will begin recruitment for the new facility early next year

“THIS is the biggest thing to happen in the town in 30 years”.

That’s the verdict of the Newcastle West Chamber president, Cllr Tom Ruddle, who was  reacting to the news that the long-awaited Ortec factory looks set to open by the middle of next year.​

In a move which will create more than 100 jobs, and bring a new industry to the county town, IDA Ireland has announced building of the factory in the area’s business park has kicked off.

A supplier of contract formulation and manufacturing services to the life-sciences industry, Ortec offers custom materials used in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and other health-related industries.

Its site manager Colm Maguire said the firm is “pleased and excited” to finally begin work on the site, with the investment originally announced back in 2016.

“This facility, the first for us outside of North America will give European customers a contract manufacturing option which will be completed and available mid-2022,” he confirmed.

Will Corcoran, the IDA’s regional manager added: “It is good to see this project now move ahead. It will enhance the already thriving life-sciences eco-system in the Mid-West and provide a substantial number of jobs in Newcastle West and the wider region.”

It’s anticipated recruitment for the roles will begin in early 2022.

Minister of State for the Office of Public Works Patrick O’Donovan, who is based in Newcastle West, said: “This marks the first major example of foreign direct investment into this part of the county for over a generation and shows what can be achieved when a locally-led initiative gets State backing from government.”

“Ortec is a family-owned business, based in South Carolina, so coming to Newcastle West, where there are so many family owned businesses that have invested heavily in their own enterprises in the last number of years is a great fit for the area,” he said.

It was Chamber president Cllr Ruddle who was part of a group of businesspeople which persuaded Ortec to locate in Newcastle West.

He said: “It’s a huge boost. It’s the first new factory we have got in the town in the last 20 to 30 years. People are very excited about it. It will make an awful difference to the local economy.”

He acknowledged Newcastle West is competing against a lot of bigger towns and cities.

“It seems to be the thing that when new factories base themselves in Ireland, their first port of call is Dublin, and we are lucky if they even venture outside. So it is a tremendous achievement to be able to get a company to come to Newcastle West. It has taken a few years to get this over the line. But now it’s full steam ahead,” explained the auctioneer.

He added he feels it is the “community spirit” of the town which attracted Ortec.

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