Lisburn-based mobility manufacturer, Leckey Design, which has a number of UK and international clients, is investing in its European site and has floated the idea of relocating its logistics from Northern Ireland to Germany because of Brexit.
The equipment supplier, which makes a range of specialist products for the adult and paediatric markets, was founded by James Leckey, who believes a potential logistical move could “improve the flow of product”, according to a report by The Belfast Telegraph.
Mr Leckey, who identifies as a ‘fervent Remainer’, told the newspaper that the company is bolstering its operations in Frankfurt, where it has a subsidiary, at an annual cost of around £50,000, as part of its preparations for the UK’s EU departure.
Currently, Leckey, which has a workforce of around 200 people, sells virtually all of its products to customers outside of the Northern Ireland.
He told the newspaper that another expansion of its German operation is “still in the planning” but added “…we did increase it last year as a consequence of uncertainty”.
Mr Leckey said jobs will not be lost in Lisburn but said extra jobs could be generated at its German base.
“We’ve already increased our premises and the scope of their responsibility within the group, and we’re now looking at providing logistics from Germany instead of the UK, which could improve the flow of product,” he said.
“It’s an additional cost no matter what way you look at it but we have to prepare for Brexit.”
Mr Leckey added: “We’d estimate that that brings an additional cost of around £50,000 a year but if Brexit moves forward it could get much more than that. Overall, there is a shift of operational activities away from mainland UK, just to make it more economic.”
Leckey, which has forecasted sales of more than £20m in its next financial year, will be hosting equipment buyers from Italy this week where Sunrise Medical will bring over a number of mobility dealers and health professionals.
Mr Leckey added: “Certainly [Brexit] is having an impact on us being able to partner on European or pan-European programmes like Horizon. The universities are now less favourable to partnering with UK companies. We do already work with European companies and they don’t want us to leave.
“I haven’t seen one economic forecast that says we will be better off after Brexit. I am a business person and we like to take risks and explore better ways of doing hinges but economically Brexit is a very bad idea.”
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