03/07/2002

Minister opens multi-million pound Claudy facility

The Zip Project Ltd, a joint venture formed by Marks & Spencer childrenswear and Desmond & Sons Limited, has officially opened its state-of-the-art garment development and sourcing facility in Claudy, Co. Londonderry.

Officiating at the opening ceremony, Sir Reg Empey, Minister for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment revealed that the new building represented an investment of £2.4m, with the creation of over 120 jobs.

Approximately 225 people will be employed in total by the Zip Project joint venture in Claudy and London.

The Minister said the opening of the facility in Claudy meant that key knowledge-based jobs in the clothing industry would be created in Northern Ireland enabling the Zip Project Ltd to compete successfully at a world-class level.

Commenting on the venture Roger Holmes, Managing Director, Marks & Spencer UK Retail said: “I am delighted that we are working so closely with one of our long standing supply partners on this new and innovative venture. It supports our shared objective to continually seek to produce better products for our customers, faster, with more flexibility and at lower cost.”

It is hoped that the new development and sourcing centre will utilise the technical skills and expertise of the local workforce, designing and producing clothing patterns and prototype garments, then contracting out the production to a world-class supply base.

The first ranges from The Zip Project Ltd will launch in all Marks & Spencer stores from August 2002.

The Zip Project Ltd, established in August 2001 in response to the unique characteristics of the childrenswear market, will design, develop and supply childrenswear to Marks & Spencer stores.

(MB)


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