The global industrial company Sesanta Technologies have launched its plans and construction timetable for its new £16.5 million research and development facility at an event hosted by the Antrim & Newtownabbey Council.
Working alongside its partners, JH Turkington & Sons Ltd, Sensata Technologies plans to build a bespoke research, testing and office space for its engineering, software development and services employees at the Global Point Business Park (owned by Invest Northern Ireland). Its manufacturing operations will remain in Antrim.
The planned two-year construction phase will support 150 jobs for suppliers and sub-contractors and has been designed to meet BREEAM sustainability standards to minimise impact on the local area.
Established in Northern Ireland for more than 20 years, Sensata Technologies (formerly Schrader Electronics) has adopted a new hybrid working pattern for its employees. Most of its teams work two days from home and three days in the office. The planned Newtownabbey facility will accommodate between 450–500 employees and will complement the company’s existing Antrim manufacturing site.
The company is keen to highlight that this building is more than just offices. Commenting at the launch event, Darren Walker, NI Site Leader at Sensata Technologies, said, “In Northern Ireland, we develop sensors and systems which are fitted in cars and Heavy Goods Vehicles. Our focus is to make vehicles safer and to provide more data to the driver and, in some cases, fleet managers. Due to the nature of this work, and the fact that the automotive industry is moving quickly with new electric models coming increasingly onto the market, we are constantly researching, testing and improving our product lines. We need to build facilities which combine offices for our support staff and effective research and development spaces for our design, testing and process engineering teams.”
He continued, “As a global company, we are also keen to be close to good transport links. Global Point offers the ideal location to welcome colleagues, customers, suppliers and visitors from around the world.”
Gary Turkington at JH Turkington & Sons Ltd, said, “We’re delighted to have been appointed as partners on this major new development. We have been challenged to create a workspace that will accommodate Sensata Technologies requirements for practical, technical spaces alongside open plan offices and private spaces for meetings.”
The Mayor of Antrim & Newtownabbey Council, Councillor Mark Cooper, welcomed guests to the launch event and said, “It is fantastic to see Sensata Technologies locate its new state of the art facility at Global Point. Global Point is fast-becoming an outstanding hub for advanced manufacturing in Northern Ireland and it is great to see momentum building with Sensata Technologies breaking ground on its construction plans. The Sensata facility will be located close to the recently approved Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre, a Belfast City Region Deal project, and I’m excited about what lies ahead for the advanced manufacturing industry in the Borough.
“We are delighted Sensata Technologies have chosen the Borough for this exciting development and I look forward to working with the firm as construction commences. This investment is also of particular importance to me as it demonstrates major progress for manufacturing in the Borough and falls within the Three Mile Water DEA which I have represented for many years.”
Construction will begin on site immediately and the first phase is planned to complete by December 2024.