G Smyth Boats embarks on expansion plans
G Smyth Boats, a boat building company based in Kilkeel, Co Down has secured contracts valued at £640,000 following a recent investment in new premises with the support of First Trust Bank.
The move to a purpose built facility on Kilkeel harbour will now allow the company to build and fit out bigger fishing boats and in turn open new markets. It is anticipated that this will lead to an increase in jobs over the next two years.
The company established in 2009 designs, builds and fits out boats for the fishing industry across the British Isles and Europe. The latest investment has already led to significant new contracts and facilitated entry to the large Norwegian market through the establishment of a new agent relationship there. As well as being able to fit out bigger boats, the company has developed its own designs which have already proved very popular with fisherman in Scotland, England, Ireland, Jersey, Holland and Belgium.
Speaking about move to new premises Gerry Smyth said; “Five years ago, with a background in fishing and carpentry I was able to combine my skills into building quality fishing boats and since then we have been going from strength to strength. The recent move from our original premises in Annalong to this purpose built facility on Kilkeel Harbour is about scaling up for the next stage in our development. We are now able to tackle bigger boats and have much more flexibility in a more suitable harbour side location. Already this move has led to a significant increase in orders from our established markets and we are about to target the large Norwegian market through a new agency relationship.
“I have been banking with First Trust Bank all my life and enjoy very strong relationships with the team there. They were able to quickly understand the ambition and vision I have for the company and the important role this new premises would play in our future plans. With their support the future is looking bright and we look forward to bringing our quality craftsmanship to many more customers on these islands and further afield.”
Welcoming news of the investment, Kevin Fitzpatrick, First Trust Bank said; “As a longstanding customer of the Bank, we knew Gerry was renowned for quality craftsmanship as well as having a close understanding of the market and customers he was targeting. When he approached us with these latest expansion plans we were delighted to be able to support the development which offers the necessary space, equipment and flexibility to allow the company to expand its operations and reach its full export potential. We have no doubt this will be a huge success as his clear passion and commitment is shared across the team.”