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Ulster were delighted to be headline sponsors for the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce Learn, Grow, Excel Conference which took place on Wednesday 14th April in Titanic Quarter, Belfast. The conference was attended by around 200 businesses and was part of a wider initiative to help boost the economy. The event was incredibly useful for large and small businesses who are already exporting or hoping to export from Northern Ireland. Nick Coburn from Ulster Carpets, along with guests from Diageo, MJM Group and Christies Direct spoke about their success in exporting from Northern Ireland.
‘Northern Ireland companies must grasp opportunities around globalisation in order to help the local economy grow. For the NI economy exporting is a must-do. Unless we become stronger in exports, it will be difficult to move away from reliance on the public sector. Globalisation is here to stay – the global economy grew by 3% last year. It represents a huge opportunity for exporters and NI has a lot to offer.’ Nick Coburn, President of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Managing Director of Ulster Carpets.
Ulster Carpets is pleased to announce the acquisition of Griffith Textile Machines. The purchase of the premier UK manufacturer of textile machinery consolidates a long-standing relationship between the two companies.
GTM, formerly known as Bonas Griffith, is a leading innovator of technical textile machinery based in Sunderland. Combining their unique skills with Ulster’s weaving experience will lead to further significant improvements in carpet weaving technology.
This acquisition begins the second phase of the £35million regeneration of all Woven manufacturing facilities at Ulster’s Portadown site. Phase one was the recent completion of a £8 million Dye house and Energy centre increasing manufacturing efficiency as well as bringing a number of major environmental benefits. This regeneration project will ensure that manufacturing remains in Portadown long term, securing employment for the local area.
Working alongside the excellent management team and employees of GTM, Ulster is committed to enabling their continued growth and further developing new and exciting technology in the textile sector.
David Acheson, Ulster’s Head of Strategic Operations commented, “Ulster’s ethos and future plans very much revolve around quality, design excellence and technical innovation, and Griffith Textile Machines fits this perfectly. We are delighted to have secured this purchase and are excited about the future prospects as the two businesses combine their skills.”
Dave Watson, GTM’s Managing Director comments “with our shared strategic objectives and being such a clear fit, joining the Ulster Group was an obvious next step for both parties. We are thrilled with the rare opportunity to focus on developing innovative solutions based on our joint peerless technology. Joining the Ulster Group is the culmination of a twenty five year business relationship and will encourage GTM to achieve its maximum potential to the benefit the group.
The acquisition is being funded from cash reserves and reflects Ulster’s desire to continue to broaden the Group by selectively adding outstanding businesses when and where the appropriate opportunity arises.
As part of the expansion and development of the European and Middle East contract division, Ulster Carpets have restructured roles within the team to strengthen our customer support to these markets. As part of this restructuring, Ahmed Nour has transferred to the UK from our Dubai operation and has been appointed as International Contracts Manager. Based in our London office and working with our sales and design teams in the UK, Ahmed will be responsible for the development of the Contract business both in the UK and the Middle East.
In this role Ahmed will continue to travel regularly to the Gulf and will be responsible for generating business in both regions. Ahmed’s clients in the Gulf region will still be able to contact him directly on the numbers below. We wish Ahmed all the best in his new role.
Due to increased demand, Ulster have further expanded our contract sales division with the addition of two graduates to the team. Chris Colvin will be taking up a sales post in the London office, while Chelsey Lenaghan, who has a background in languages, is undertaking a secondment to our Parisian office.
London Marriott Regents Park
Just a stone’s throw from the famous Regents Park, the London Marriott Hotel is all about style and substance. An upmarket North London location called for a sophisticated interior when the hotel recently under went a refurbishment programme which included bespoke Ulster axminster.
Armed with a brief which took its inspiration from the hotel’s namesake Regent’s Park, Ulster designers worked alongside ICA design practice to create an abstract, textural design which mimics the shadow play of light through the canopy of leaves. The soft, whimsical layers and organic colours create depth, whilst the hint of gold adds a luxurious touch. Like the adjacent Royal Park, the interior spaces within the hotel offer a restful place in which to unwind whilst remaining reassuringly well appointed.
Ulster have worked a long established relationship with Marriott around the world and so were delighted to be involved in this most recent project. Ulster’s outstanding London-based sales and design team, make them the natural choice for projects in the capital, offering face to face consultation and timely customer service. Such is the demand for Ulster’s services in the London market, Ulster have recently expanded their sales team with the addition of Chris Colvin, who joined the company under a Graduate Management Scheme. After working in the company’s Purchasing department, Chris has now relocated to London and is enjoying a new challenge within the busy London market.
Design Practice: ICA
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The Fairmont St Andrews is renowned for golf, luxury and its stunning coastline location. It was the latter which inspired the recent refurbishment by RPW Architects. The highly anticipated refurbishment included a complete redesign of the Atrium and Kittock’s Bar featuring bespoke Ulster axminster. The Kittock’s Bar floor covering is inspired by the breath taking aerial views of the dramatic coastline whilst the atrium carpet, draws inspiration from the fishing heritage of the town. Nautical blues and soft neutral tones, mimic the movement of the sea, whilst a net ‘overlay’ completes the theme.