26/03/2003

£8m investment set to create 350 jobs

Up to 350 jobs could be created in the south west following the decision of Quinn-direct Insurance to invest almost £8 million in a new centre in Enniskillen.

The centre will carry out a comprehensive range of activities relating to the company’s suite of insurance products and is expected to be online by 2006.

Announcing the investment, NIO Enterprise Minister Ian Pearson said: “This significant investment is a tremendously important development for Enniskillen and will make a valuable economic contribution to the area.

“Quinn-direct Insurance will be putting in place leading-edge e-commerce capability which will support efforts by Invest NI, the Council and other key stakeholders to diversify the local economy and to promote knowledge-led industries including internet-focused activities.

“The investment, which will offer a large number of people in the area the opportunity to apply for jobs and acquire transferable skills represents a further and very substantial endorsement of the county as an attractive business location.”

Sean Quinn, Chief Executive of Quinn Group, added: “The project objective is to increase our geographic and product segment share. Quinn-direct currently holds a 9% share of the Republic's insurance market and 6% of the Northern Ireland market.

“We have invested heavily in business processes, which allows us to minimise costs and makes us very competitive. This approach has been the critical driver of growth in the business.

“We chose to set up in Enniskillen because of the unrivalled telecommunications infrastructure we can access in the area, the availability of a well-educated workforce, the quality of which the Quinn Group has already experienced and benefited from and the wide-ranging support offered by Invest NI,” he said.

Welcoming the news, SDLP MLA Tommy Gallagher said: "This is wonderful news for Co Fermanagh and these new jobs will provide a great boost for career prospects in our area. The Quinn Group has played an important part in Fermanagh's infrastructure and has an excellent history for employment."

Quinn-direct Insurance is part of the Quinn Group, a Republic of Ireland owned company, which, since its launch in 1996, has grown rapidly and now has more than 130,000 policyholders.

Quinn Group is now one of Ireland’s leading companies with interests in cement, concrete, glass packaging and hotels with a group turnover of €500 million for 2002. It employs approximately 2,500 employees in its various industries and locations in Ireland.

(MB)

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