Tegral has announced that it is to create 29 new jobs.
The Athy-based firm is part of a large Belgian company, ETEX, which has a requirement for a range of fibre cement slates in the UK.
The Athy company won a contract to supply the slates, which will mean an investment of €1.5m as well as the creation of 29 new jobs at the Athy plant.
The investment in machinery to make Rivendale, a dress-edge slate, will take place immediately.
Ten of the new jobs will come on stream by May, and the balance in January 2014.
“This is a good day for Tegral and it’s pleasing to have some positive news for Athy after all the gloom of recent years,” Paddy Kelly, Tegral’s managing director said.
“Our long-standing record of delivering high-quality products and good productivity along with a reputable flexible workforce stood the test.”
Tegral produces a range of slate and metal products and has been in Athy for over 70 years.
It is the largest employer in south County Kildare, currently employing 92 people.
The news has been warmly welcomed.
Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl described the announcement as “very welcome and important for local employment and the local economy.
“I am informed that new investment in machinery to make new slates for export will be taking place very quickly with 10 new jobs being created in May and almost 20 more next January.
“This will be of huge benefit to local employment considering the building and construction sector has suffered so much in recent years.”
And he paid tribute to Paddy Kelly, Tegral’s Managing Director, “for the all the work has a done to secure this important contract”.
“Workers are also to be commended for their commitment, flexibility and consistency in delivering high quality materials.
Deputy Martin Heydon also welcomed the announcement.
“The announcement is a great boost to the town and is a huge vote of confidence in the Athy plant and the work of its employees.
“It should bring knock on benefits to the town and local economy. I realise this is just a small step forward considering the job losses that have been experienced in the past.
“However it is a step in the right direction and a sign of further positive developments to come.”
- Conor McHugh