After a morning on the buses in Ballymena, Boris Johnston rolled into Lisburn on Monday afternoon.
The visiting Mayor of London dropped in on one of the Uk’s oldest PVC product manufacturers, there to meet workers and senior management.
Established in 1970 and trading from Knockmore Hill Industrial Park, where it employs 75 people, Boomer Industries Ltd has for more than 20 years supplied interior trims to Wrightbus, with whom, earlier in the day, Mr Johnston confirmed an order for 195 Routemaster buses on behalf of Transport for London.
The message for the mayor in Lisburn was that it was no less boomtime for Boomer, whose managing director Andrew Robinson announced during the visit that the Lisburn company had opened a new facility in Chennai, south east India, close to, in fact, Ballymena coachbuilder Wrightbus’s own major manufacturing plant in the area.
“Not only will this enable us to support Wrightbus in India,” said Mr Robinson, “but it will also allow Boomer to exploit fresh opportunities for its products and services as well as develop and strengthen our business links within the Asian and Middle East markets.
“It is a hugely significant development by Boomer after what has been a remarkably good trading year.”
Mr Robinson, Boomer’s financial director Andrew Wallace and product development director Thomas Faughey briefed Mr Johnson on the company’s overseas expansion before leading him on a factory tour.
He was accompanied by Northern Ireland Secretary of State Theresa Villiers and London Transport Commissioner Mike Brown.
Wrightbus Chairman and CEO Mark Nodder said: “Boomer Industries have been an important partner within our supply and development chain for more than two decades.
“Throughout that period they have played a significant supporting role, especially in the development of the Routemaster, and we are delighted the company has established a manufacturing facility in India.”
Boomer also has a distribution centre in Oldham, near Manchester, supplying customers throughout the Irish Republic, UK, Middle East and North America.
Products include plastic skirting boards, conservatory roof profiles, pre-hung door sets and a range of trade extrusions and bespoke designed extrusions.
As well as bus and coach companies, Boomer is also heavily involved in supplying products for offsite construction market and the caravan and park home markets.