MSO Cleland MD and Invest Northern Ireland CEO are together in an office and smiling into the camera.
From left: Kevin Holland, CEO of Invest NI, and Joanna Calixto, managing director at MSO Cleland. Image: Invest NI

35 new jobs in sustainable packaging on the way for Belfast

7 Oct 2020

MSO Cleland is investing £5m in its Belfast manufacturing site as demand increases for non-plastic packaging alternatives.

MSO Cleland, a Northern Irish packaging company, has announced a £5m investment in Belfast today (7 October). The company is responding to greater demand for its sustainable packaging and hiring for 35 new jobs in its business.

Its products include cartonboard packaging and labels for food, drinks and pharmaceuticals. MSO designs and delivers the materials to clients in these sectors.

The company has been operating for 140 years and is currently located on Belfast’s Castlereagh Road. Invest NI is supporting its expansion plans.

Invest NI CEO Kevin Holland said the jobs created will contribute £800,000 in annual salaries to the Northern Irish economy. “This announcement is a welcome boost for Northern Ireland’s manufacturing industry as the sector works to recover from the challenges of Covid,” he said.

Holland added that the market for more sustainable packaging has “surged” in the past few years. Companies want to reduce their reliance on plastic, which has motivated MSO to invest in new equipment.

This includes a recently installed “state-of-the-art Heidelberg lithographic printing press”, according to MSO managing director Joanna Calixto.

Calixto said that the business has been “significantly restructured” in recent years and the company has worked to build its reputation in the UK, Ireland and increasingly in Europe.

“With Covid-19, it may seem a strange time to many to make this investment, but we’ve been laying the foundations for the last number of years,” Calixto added.

“This has included creating our growth strategy, setting up our apprenticeship scheme and focusing on the right skillsets and business culture for our workforce in preparation for this next phase. This investment gives us the latest capabilities, enabling us to continue to innovate and add value to our customers’ packaging.”

A number of companies in other industries have announced new jobs in Belfast in the past month, including tax consulting company RSM, Insurance Office of America, SaaS company ScreenCloud, and software business Qarik.

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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