Planned Agri-Development Hub in Dungannon to Create 40 Jobs

A Co Tyrone agri-business with around £20m in annual sales is planning a major expansion.

Capper Trading, which has been operating for 50 years, plans to build an ‘agri-development’ hub opposite its site at Tamnamore in Dungannon, close to the M1.

The company carries out the haulage of animal feed, as well as the manufacture of bedding and  supply of heating fuels.

The hub will be a 22,000 square metre extension to its site for processing straw and animal feed, and will also have new facilities for research and development.

Capper Trading employs around 120, but said it would be able to take on another 40 over the next 10 years if the plans get the go-ahead.

In its most recent accounts for the year ending June 30, 2016, the company had turnover of £19m and pre-tax profits of £0.8m. Managing director Philip Hill said: “Our proposed agri-development hub will allow us to maintain our growth, creating 40 new jobs in the local area.

“We have been a part of the rural community for more than half-a-century.

“More than 500 agri-businesses across the UK and Ireland rely on our products every day. Our location at Tamnamore has been key to our development as a business, and our future.

“It provides a strategic location on the highway network from which we can continue to support local customers and reach future markets.”

The company is to carry out a three-month community consultation about the proposals.

It hopes to submit a planning application to Mid Ulster District Council in late spring. It has invested £3.5m in research and development over the last five years, including £1.8m received from economic development agency Invest NI.

In its results for the year ending June 2016, turnover of £19.3m was down from £21.5m the year before.

In a strategic report the company said the drop in sales was down to difficult economic conditions in certain markets and the milder winter weather in 2015/16 compared to the previous winter.

It added that gross margin had declined “but not at as high a rate as turnover, which suggests some improvement in efficiencies”.

The company operates around 40 LGVs in bulk feed transportation across Ireland and Britain. It has also been importing coal since 1980.