Manufacturing & Supply Chain

Derry business wins multi-million contract following investment in state-of-the-art equipment

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Derry business wins multi-million contract following investment in state-of-the-art equipment

Derry business wins multi-million contract following investment in state-of-the-art equipment
June 17
11:56 2024
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Derry-based professional clothing company Hunter Apparel Solutions has won a £3.5 million contract with Dublin Fire Brigade. The contract follows a £1 million investment in new machinery by Hunter which is enabling it to offer a revolutionary PPE decontamination service.

With Invest NI support, Hunter Apparel Solutions purchased new decontamination machinery which uses liquid carbon dioxide (LC02+) to eradicate contaminants and carcinogens from fire service clothing. The contract with Dublin Fire Brigade involves fully neutralizing the toxins in the protective clothing of its firefighters, ensuring that harmful substances do not build up in the garments leading to serious ill health.

Located in Springtown Industrial Estate, Hunter Apparel Solutions employs 53 staff. It was founded in 1936 and is now managed by the third generation of the Hunter family. The company supplies its garments and services across key market segments – blue light and security; rail and other transport utilities; and specialist PPE and workwear.

During a recent visit to the company, Economy Minister Conor Murphy  said: “Hunter has embraced technology and innovation to develop from its origins as an apparel manufacturer to become a leader in the design, supply and maintenance of technical professional clothing.

“This contract with Dublin Fire Brigade highlights the opportunities that exist in the all-island economy. As a result of its investment and subsequent contract success, Hunter has created three new jobs in Derry. Its new decontamination service is also helping to safeguard the health of key workers as well as reducing wastage by maximising the lifespan of uniforms. All of this is in keeping with my vision of creating a regionally balanced and sustainable economy.”

The Minister added: “Trading with the south can be a catalyst for businesses to grow into new export markets. My department and Invest NI will be working closely with businesses to ensure they understand the unique dual market access opportunities and the regulatory environment, so they are well placed to take advantage of our export growth potential.”

 

CEO, Simon Hunter, said: “Hunter is the technology leader in the professional clothing sector. We were first to market with a specialised digital service, along with a platform for tracking and tracing personal protective equipment to ensure safety protocols are followed. We have also launched an artificial intelligence-based sizing tool and introduced robotics to our R&D centre and warehousing.

“Our new LC02+ decontamination service is the next step in providing our clients with a 21st-century professional clothing service. It removes 99% of carcinogens from firefighters’ PPE and prolongs the lifespan of the clothing in a single wash environmentally friendly process. On the back of this continuous research and development and our passion for innovation, we anticipate that our turnover will continue to grow well into the future.”

Congratulating the company on its new contract, Jeremy Fitch, Executive Director of Business Solutions at Invest NI, said: “Hunter continues to invest in its future, ensuring it maintains its competitive position as a technological leader in its field. The company’s LC02+ system investment has been rewarded with this significant four-year contract with Dublin Fire Brigade adding to many other export successes.

“Invest NI has worked with Hunter over many years providing both financial and advisory support and we will continue to be a trusted partner as it enters its next phase of growth.”

CAPTION:

Pictured (L-R): Conor Murphy, Minister for the Economy; Simon Hunter, CEO, Huner Apparel; and Jeremy Fitch, Executive Director of Business Growth, Invest NI.


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