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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Local companies working together on a pathway to net zero

People standing in front of a lorry

The Mid and East Antrim Manufacturing Task Force has recently focused on supporting businesses in the Borough meet the challenges faced in the transition to net carbon zero and explore and exploit the significant opportunities arising from this transition.  


The Mid and East Antrim Manufacturing Task Force is an industry led initiative which supports companies and key stakeholders in the sector to work together to address issues and create opportunities.



To drive this ambition, initial funding was secured from the Invest NI Collaborative Growth Programme, which led to the formation of the ‘CleanTech’ Collaborative Growth Network (CGN) grouping last year.


Smith’s Precision Engineering - a dedicated precision engineering company specialising in the supply of high-quality machined components based in Ballymena led the project alongside six SME’s and other stakeholder organisations.


The SME companies involved to date include B9 Energy, IPC Mouldings, TST, Moore Concrete, Clarkes, and GES, and stakeholders represented in the group include Translink, Firmus Energy, Phoenix Natural Gas, CASE and Michelin Development.



Phase 1 of the project has just been completed.  


It has successfully brought together a range of carbon aware companies of all sizes in Mid and East Antrim to facilitate the transfer of knowledge, identify and grow the CleanTech sector and open up new high-value market opportunities.  


The work achieved to date, and the collaborative approach to driving change and meet the net zero target doesn’t stop there, over the coming months the network plans to apply to Invest NI for funding for Phase 2 to allow the network to continue to grow and to undertake specific projects for the benefit of all involved. 


In the interim, the project will continue to the end of the year with support from Michelin Development Ltd. The funding secured will provide the opportunity for companies to complete Scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions calculations with guidance and training from the network facilitator, TetraTech.



Darwin Smith, Smiths Precision Engineering commented:


"The CGN collaboration has helped us embrace the drive to net zero.  It has given us the chance as a collective grouping to investigate market prospects and look at ways to seize these opportunities through the processes in which our goods and services are produced and delivered to ensure that this is carried out in an environmentally responsible way - as a means to meet the targets set.  


He added: “There is still so much more to do, Phase 2 funding would help us even further on our path to net zero.”



Graham Whitehurst, Chair of the MTF added:


“I believe that through the drive and ambition of all the companies involved, the CGN cluster will contribute to the creation of ‘greener’ products and technologies, as well as investigating other ways to become more sustainable.”


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