Magherafelt-based Bloc Group is further expanding its NI operation through a major investment in FAST Technologies in Londonderry. The deal is significant for both Bloc and FAST (Factory Automation & Systems Technologies) bringing together two highly innovative, export-focused manufacturing operations which excel in design and engineering.

Colin Spence, Technical sales director, FAST Technologies, Eamonn Lynch, co-founder FAST Technologies, Cormac Diamond, managing director, Bloc and Ciara McGonnell Cushnahan, financial director, Bloc

FAST provides bespoke technical solutions to its global client base which includes DuPont, Unilever, Caterpillar and Seagate.

Speaking about the new development and what it means for both businesses, Cormac Diamond, managing director of Bloc the deal will enable them to ‘helping organisations streamline and enhance their business processes and operations’.

He continued: “The level of expertise which FAST brings in terms of ‘best-in-class’ manufacturing and automation, complements and furthers Bloc’s long term growth strategy.

“Set against the current climate of supply chain challenges, labour and skills shortages, we view FAST as a solutions provider to the wider business market.

“It has a proven track record in the application of automation across all sectors and industries, and together we will take this expertise to the next level, ultimately helping organisations streamline and enhance their business processes and operations.”

In addition to its impact at a regional level, Cormac believes the synergies between Bloc and FAST will underpin the continued success of both brands and offer great economic potential globally.

He explained: “In bringing together two locally-owned organisations that share a common culture and philosophy we’re able to seize joint opportunities, bring new ideas to life and create solutions which deliver positive outcomes at both business and consumer levels.”

Welcoming the deal, Eamonn Lynch of FAST Technologies, added: “We believe this represents a new and very exciting chapter for both companies and our combined workforce.

“Bloc’s support and investment will enable us to consolidate and strengthen our offering and help FAST rise to the next level in terms of opportunity and growth.”

The FAST team will continue to operate as a stand-alone manufacturing operation at its existing site in Londonderry’s Skeoge Industrial Estate. Co-founder Eamonn Lynch and technical sales director Colin Spence will also continue to head up FAST’s management team.

Bloc are a global manufacturing and design company based in Magherafelt with divisions in Belfast and The Netherlands and is renowned as one of the UK’s leading designers and manufacturers of innovative blinds and skylight systems and recently pivoted into the healthcare solutions industry.

Employing over 250 staff, the company was established in 2009 and consists of Bloc Blinds, Bloc Healthcare Solutions and Bloc Labs.

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