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IRISS to move UK manufacturing and global headquarters to Manatee County

IRISS, a firm that manufactures infrared windows for inspecting industrial electrical equipment, will consolidate its British-based manufacturing operation and U.S. headquarters at a new $5.7 million, 33,000 square foot, facility in Lakewood Ranch, Manatee County, Florida.

Sharon Hillstrom, president of the Manatee Economic Development Corporation, said IRISS plans to move into the 900-acre Lakewood Ranch Commerce Center, invest $1.2 million in equipment, and create several jobs.

As part of an incentive package, Manatee County commissioners recently approved $12,000 in performance-based incentives. The state also committed $48,000 to accelerate the company's hiring and capital investment. In addition, IRISS qualified for expedited permitting and approximately $6,393 in transportation impact fee mitigation from Manatee County Government.

"Our phenomenal growth of 69 percent, year-over-year, is driving the decision to co-locate our manufacturing and global headquarters in Manatee County," said Martin Robinson, IRISS chief executive officer. "We were particularly attracted by the airports and road network, plus the area's appeal for our clients from northern states who will attend our learning center classes and conferences."

"IRISS Infrared Windows use infrared cameras that can see the infrared energy produced by problems such as corrosion that may affect electrical switchgear or transformers. The IRISS window allows technicians to monitor equipment and intervene before dangerous problems develop," Robinson, explained.

"IRISS' selection of Manatee County validates Florida as an avid supporter of new companies and a state that embraces the opportunities they can bring to our citizens and communities," said Gray Swoope, president and CEO of Enterprise Florida Inc. "We're providing the kind of atmosphere, talent and resources that help companies like IRISS enhance their growth and productivity."

The IRISS project demonstrates Manatee County's viability as a destination for international manufacturing and global headquarters for fast-growing companies," said Hillstrom, whose Manatee Economic Development Corporation assisted IRISS in applying for state and local incentives, as well as expedited permitting. The MEDC is also working with IRISS on possible training grants.

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