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New jobs as manufacturer secures £86,000 rural business funding from SOAR

Local manufacturer of bespoke architectural cast stone and crystal products, Craftstone 2000 Limited have recently constructed an all weather packing shed and purchased a semi-automatic wrapping machine to help grow and diversify their business – all thanks to funding of over £86,000 from SOAR ABC’s Rural Development Programme.

Craftstone 2000 Limited, located just outside Banbridge, offer a variety of products for domestic housing schemes, commercial projects, landscape architecture and bespoke artwork commissions.

Thanks to SOAR funding, the company now have an additional finishing, stacking and packing area – enabling the company to “free up” the factory floor, which in turn will allow them to increase the size of the production area.

In addition and as a direct result of the funding Craftstone 2000 Limited are also going to hire four new employees as the business expands.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Kevin Savage commented: “I am delighted to see how a local company like Craftstone 2000 Limited have turned their vision into a reality thanks to funding from the Rural Development Programme.

“This funding is not only helping local rural businesses grow and diversify but is an essential driver for the sector’s long term development.”

Chairman of the SOAR LAG, Mr Kyle Savage, said: “This business has demonstrated the benefits that the Rural Development Programme delivers on the ground.

“Not only does the funding encourage economic regeneration but also enables small businesses the opportunity to grow and expand, providing much needed employment in our rural areas.

“The job opportunities created by these businesses are high tech and it is great we are keeping these skills within the ABC area.”

Covering the borough of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, SOAR ABC implements the NI Rural Development Programme for local rural businesses, community organisations and authorities to develop projects that stimulate job creation, enable businesses to diversify and ensure much needed services are delivered locally.

Since 2014 SOAR (ABC) have awarded £2.7m in funding to local businesses as the programme and created some 125 jobs to date.

Find out more about SOAR ABC here: www.soarni.org

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