Page last updated at 18:33 GMT, Monday, 16 February 2009

Jobs created at missile factory

Starstreak - pic courtesy Thales
The jobs follow the signing of a 200m contract with the Ministry of Defence

Forty jobs are to be created at a defence firm's plant in east Belfast.

The expansion at Thales Air Defence follows the signing of a £200m deal in January to make missiles for the Ministry of Defence.

In Newry, online gaming company Jolt is creating 15 technical support and software jobs at its new offices.

Meanwhile, 18 staff have been made redundant by Tobermore Concrete Products, which blamed the downturn in the construction and housing market.

"We have grown very successful over the past ten years and have recruited staff to meet both production and sales demand," said a company statement.

"However, the sharp decline in the economy has meant that we have had to make some necessary but unfortunate cut backs."

A spokeswoman for Thales Air Defence said the new jobs include skilled engineering posts.

In January the company, formerly Shorts Missile Systems, won a contract to supply part of the Starstreak missile system to the MoD until 2020.

"Getting the contract has secured the company's position, it was over £200m and has meant we can take on more people," she said.

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