Four men in suits are standing outdoors in front of a wind turbine and looking into the camera.
From left: Neo Environmental’s Paul Neary, Invest NI’s Kevin Holland, Skylark’s David McMullan and Knox Electrical’s Samuel Knox. Image: Invest NI

14 new jobs for Belfast and Ballymena amid £1m renewables investment

18 May 2021

Neo Environmental, Knox Electrical and Skylark Control are all set to hire in Northern Ireland on the back of growing demand for green energy.

Three companies in Northern Ireland have announced hiring plans as demand for green energy grows. Neo Environmental, Knox Electrical and Skylark Control have each seen new business opportunities in the sector and as a result are collectively investing more than £1m in the region.

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The investment will open up 14 new jobs, backed by Invest NI funding of more than £123,000.

“These investments are fantastic examples of local businesses capitalising on the global ambition to reduce carbon footprints through the use of green initiatives,” said Invest NI CEO Kevin Holland.

“The likely switch to renewable technologies is set to offer numerous opportunities for local companies including the creation of new jobs, developing skills and encouraging local investment.”

Scottish consultancy Neo Environmental is set to invest £300,000 in its Ballymena operations. Its director, Paul Neary, said the company will create five new roles.

“To accommodate our growing workforce, we have moved to larger premises in Ballymena, which gives us the space to keep growing in the future,” Neary said.

Knox Electrical is a Ballymena-based electrical contractor. Its £640,000 investment will help it deliver specialist high-voltage installations for wind and solar farms in Ireland.

Its managing director, Samuel Knox, said: “We have been trading successfully for the last 15 years with a primary focus on the Northern Ireland market.

“We have recently commenced delivery of a number of projects on wind farms in northern Scotland and now the Republic of Ireland has launched a new framework for decarbonisation that signals strong investment in renewables.

“Thanks to Invest NI’s support we are creating seven new jobs in Ballymena. These roles include the recruitment of an experienced operations manager, who will take on the operational supervision of day-to-day onsite operations, allowing me to focus on growing and expanding the business.”

Finally, Skylark Control is a high-growth tech start-up in Belfast. Its investment of £70,000 will help it build on recent contracts secured in Ireland, the UK and Asia. It will also hire for two new roles at its Belfast hub.

Skylark co-founder David McMullan said: “Our operational control software platform enables windfarms and utility companies to streamline onsite repair and maintenance operations, demonstrate compliance for health and safety legislation, improve team performance and boost business profitability.

“This new investment is helping us to focus on our marketing activities which will enable us to grow our share in the renewables sector in domestic and global markets and diversify into other sectors including oil, gas and construction.”

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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