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Seagate unveils £57m investment plans and 25 new jobs for Derry plant

LEADING electronics manufacturer Seagate Technology has announced a £57.4 million investment in its Springtown plant.

The company, which provides data storage solutions for companies across the world including read-write heads for hard disk drives, has announced major investment in R&D at its wafer manufacturing plant at Springtown, which will create 25 highly skilled new jobs.

Seagate is investing £47.4m of its own money and is being aided by long-time supporter Invest NI to the tune of almost £10m (£9.95m).

The funding will be focused on enabling further research and development in nanophotonics, cementing Springtown’s position as a leader in world class technology innovation.

Speaking at the announcement yesterday, Seagate chief executive officer, Dave Mosley said the latest investment will further grow the business, which set up in Derry back in 1994.

“Technology innovation is the cornerstone of our success and the industry-leading innovation delivered by our facility in Springtown has been at the heart of our business strategy for the last 25 years,” he said.

“Today’s investment extends a successful, collaborative partnership with Invest Northern Ireland and will further strengthen our ability to deliver customer-centric technology leadership for the data-driven future of the global economy.”

Jeremy Fitch, executive director of business solutions at Invest NI said they are delighted to continue the successful partnership with Seagate

“Supporting the company along the way has been Invest NI, with every £1 of our support contributing to £4 investment in the local economy.”

“We are delighted to be able to offer support towards this latest project which will see 120 highly skilled researchers here at Springtown, including 25 new recruits, play a major role in the development of ground-breaking new technology,” he said.

Londonderry Chamber of Commerce president, Brian McGrath hailed the investment as “extremely welcome” news.

“It is great to see that the investment will create 25 highly skilled jobs and will bring a number of important economic benefits to the area.

“This is a clear indication and endorsement that the north west is an important place to do business and emphasises that we have impressive talent and ability throughout the region,” Mr McGrath added.

Seagate’s Springtown facility is recognised as one of the foremost 200mm wafer fabrication plants in the world.

The site has grown from an initial charter of world class manufacturing in the first decade of operations to adding development and product launch capabilities in the last ten years. The facility employs over 1,400 staff and the company is estimated to have invested in excess of £1 billion in capital here over the past 25 years.

Danske Bank in Derry has launched a second North West Skills Academy, offering 20 local people the chance to gain training and a possible career with the bank as a Customer Protection Analyst. Following on from Danske Bank’s announcement last August of the creation of 67 new jobs in Derry, support from the Department for the Economy will see the company collaborate with North West Regional College to deliver 20 high quality training opportunities. Participants in the Academy who successfully complete the course will have a job interview with Danske.

Ann Williamson, Head of Employer Skills at the Department for the Economy, said: “Increasing the skills levels of the workforce in the North West, through Assured Skills Academies helps to meet the needs of growing companies, support economic growth and enhance productivity.

“Assured Skills Academies enable employers to work with training providers in the Further and Higher Education sectors to deliver industry-relevant, pre-employment training, helping ensure that expanding businesses can bring on board the people they need to grow and compete.” Niall McGarry, Senior HR Business Partner at Danske Bank, said: “This Assured Skills Academy follows on from the success of the first NW Academy last year and is a signal of our continued commitment to the local area.

Applicants need no experience in the financial services sector; all we ask is for a minimum of three A levels and six GCSEs including maths and English.” The Danske Bank analyst positions are part of a team which plays an important role in protecting the Bank’s customers through managing the risk of financial crime and fraud on their accounts. The team is based in the Bank’s historic city centre building. Mr. McGarry added: “We are keen to bring a range of people and skills into the company and I would encourage anyone who meets the criteria and who is looking for a new challenge to apply.”