Leading biomaterials manufacturer Aran Biomedical has this week announced plans to create 150 highly skilled new jobs in the Galway Gaeltacht over the next three years.
The An Spidéal-based medical device maker specialises in the custom design, development, and manufacturing of medical implants, and in response to growing business demand has revealed plans to increase its workforce with the creation of 150 jobs in production, engineering, quality, and supply chain management.
Aran Biomedical, an Údarás na Gaeltachta client company, is also planning to treble its manufacturing capacity with the establishment of a new facility in An Spidéal. It is anticipated that this development will be completed on a phase-by-phase basis, with full completion estimated by mid-2025.
The company, formerly known as Proxy Biomedical, has been located in An Spidéal since 2008 with the support of Údarás, providing highly skilled employment in the Connemara Gaeltacht throughout that time. Through continuous innovation Aran Biomedical has developed a niche biomaterial product and has grown over the years to support more than 120 jobs ahead of its planned expansion.
“We are excited and proud to announce our plans to build a new state of the art facility in An Spidéal and the creation of these new roles,” Peter Mulrooney, CEO of Aran Biomedical, said of the expansion. “The past 12 months have been significant for Aran, in that we have expanded our customer base and the number of staff on site to over 120, coupled with the official opening of our dedicated braiding centre in December.
'If any evidence were required for the case to support our rural areas and the innovation and success of Aran Biomedical and Údarás na Gaeltachta are the proof of what can be achieved'
“We have continued to expand our customer base, and the new jobs and facility will allow us to meet our customers ever expanding supply needs in the biomedical textiles field. The support we have received from Údarás na Gaeltachta has been pivotal to our success since moving our manufacturing base to An Spidéal in 2008.”
This week’s news has been broadly welcomed as a major boost for the Gaeltacht. In response to the announcement Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, said: “I am delighted that Aran Biomedical has announced plans to create 150 jobs in An Spidéal, Co Galway, over the next three years. I would like to congratulate Peter Mulrooney and the entire staff there on the news which will see the company continue to prosper while providing valuable sustainable employment in the Galway Gaeltacht. If any evidence were required for the case to support our rural areas and the innovation and success of Aran Biomedical and Údarás na Gaeltachta are the proof of what can be achieved.”
'A vote of confidence'
Anna Ní Ghallachair, chairperson of the board of Údarás na Gaeltachta, said: “On behalf of the board of Údarás na Gaeltachta, I welcome this announcement and congratulate Aran Biomedical and their staff on their achievements to date. We take great encouragement in following the progress of Aran Biomedical, and these additional jobs in a company whose products are based on innovation and creativity are a vote of confidence in the people of the Conamara Gaeltacht and its immediate hinterland.”
'Our Gaeltacht areas have historically been a victim of population decline and today’s announcement is a positive step in addressing that problem'
Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, chief executive officer of Údarás, added: “Údarás na Gaeltachta is delighted to welcome Aran Biomedical’s announcement of the expansion of facilities in An Spidéal, Co Galway, and plans to create 150 highly skilled new jobs there over the next three years.
"The medical devices designed and produced by Aran Biomedical, which are shipped all over the world, show that Ireland’s Gaeltacht areas can provide businesses of all types with a perfect base from which to be connected with the world while enjoying world class work-life balance for their employees. The current and potential employment is hugely important to this area and it is hoped that its continued significant investment and high employment will continue in this Gaeltacht area.”
Galway West TD and Minister for State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton, said the announcement was excellent news for the Connemara Gaeltacht.
“Fine Gael in Government have made a conscious effort to expand job creation beyond urban settings in recent years,” Minister Naughton said this week. “However, our Gaeltacht areas have historically been a victim of population decline and today’s announcement is a positive step in addressing that problem. Údarás na Gaeltachta are to be commended in supporting the growth of Aran Biomedical. It shows that the med-tech industry is not confined to traditional assumptions of location and that employment can be supported in Gaeltacht areas just as well as anywhere else.
'The Gaeltacht is a well-suited home to a substantial number of medical devices companies'
“This is a very positive development. While the 150 jobs to be created are highly significant in themselves, they, and Aran Biomedical, will also contribute hugely to the wider local economy in the years ahead. It is a vote of confidence in the Connemara Gaeltacht and its future.”
Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers, said he hoped Aran Biomedical’s announcement would encourage other companies to consider Gaeltacht areas for expansion plans. “This is a significant announcement not only for the Connemara Gaeltacht area but nationally also, and one which I hope will bring further growth and high-quality employment to the area,” he added. “The Gaeltacht is a well-suited home to a substantial number of medical devices companies and we hope that the news of Aran Biomedical’s expansion and opportunities for job creation will be replicated further.”