LISBURN, Ireland—Conveyor belt producer Smiley Monroe is opening a manufacturing facility in Franklin, Ky.
Due for start-up in January, the facility will create 30 local jobs and "safeguard jobs" at the company's headquarters in Lisburn. The $2 million investment project was assisted by Danske Bank and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, according to the press statement.
The move is in response to growth in the U.S. customer base as well as increasing political uncertainty, export restrictions, the company explained.
"With the political uncertainty both in the United Kingdom and beyond, protecting our export sales is paramount to growing the business and safe-guarding jobs in Northern Ireland," said Chris Monroe, the group's global sales director.
"Having a base in the U.S. will shorten lead times for customers and help us be more competitive in the tough U.S. market. Removing barriers to trade will fast track our ambitious growth plans to increase turnover by 50 percent over the next three years."
Smiley Monroe manufactures customized endless conveyor belts and rubber and plastics parts for the mobile equipment sector. Its customers include Powerscreen, Terex, Wirtgen, McCloskey and Sandvik.