A Newry manufacturing company plans to create 140 jobs as part of a £2.5 million expansion project to expand its bathroom pod business.
Connex Offsite, which is part of a family-owned group of businesses that also includes ReGen Waste and Doherty Developments, has seen growing demand in the construction sector for the pods which are completely finished, waterproofed bathrooms that feature smart plumbing systems.
The pods are chiefly used by construction companies across a variety of development projects from residential to hotel, student accommodation and healthcare facilities.
Connex Offsite manufacturers the pods at its Newry factory, then shrink wraps them on the factory floor and ships them off to construction sites.
According to Brendan Doherty, managing director of Connex, the pods can reduce construction time on projects because bathrooms traditionally take up a high percentage of management time and also require a significant number of tradespeople on site from plumbers to electricians and tilers.
Because of this, he believes many developers are turning to off-site manufacturing solutions like bathroom pods which can help to reduce costs and avoid delays.
Mr Doherty said Connex has recently acquired a further 60,000sq ft of factory space to expand its current 25,000sq ft manufacturing space in Newry in response to a strong order book.
“We’ve just completed our first large project with the Elliot Group worth over £700,000 for the delivery of 149-bathroom pods to Bicester in Oxford.
“Our second project delivered 24 bathroom pods to Ogilvie Construction in Edinburgh and we are currently manufacturing a further 116 pods for the Elliot Group, for Cambridge and Hammersmith, to be delivered before Christmas,” he added.
He said the company was aiming for “substantial growth” within the next three to five years across the UK and Ireland.