County Down company carves out a successful niche

Feb 15, 2010

County Down company Trademark Masons is celebrating export success within its first two years of trading, thanks to support from Invest Northern Ireland.

Trademark Masons, based in Ballyward, specialises in a range of highly skilled stonework masonry including restoration, repair, cladding and pointing.

Invest NI offered Trademark Masons £80,000 towards a total investment of £750,000 in a range of marketing and business development activities. The company has now secured a contract in France worth over £50,000 for work on a restoration project and also generates a significant portion of its turnover from the RoI market.

Trademark Masons has delivered a variety of major projects in both Northern Ireland and the Republic, including church restorations, repairs to private dwellings and public sector buildings, and the extensive rejuvenation of medieval walls around the town of Drogheda.

Mark Bleakney, Invest NI’s Southern Regional Office Manager, says: “The success of Trademark Masons is thanks in large part to the company’s specialist capability in what is a niche market. The business has built a strong reputation as a result of its dedication to quality as well as the skill and commitment of its team of stonemasons.

“Trademark Masons has converted these attributes into business success through a targeted marketing campaign that has sought to secure high value assignments in markets outside Northern Ireland. Capitalising on the recent competitiveness of the Euro against Sterling, the business has demonstrated how a new company can penetrate export markets and use this as a platform for success.”

Trevor McKibbin, Managing Director of Trademark Masons, is delighted with the company’s progress: “Whilst working in the stone cutting trade, I identified a commercial opportunity for bespoke masonry work which many larger companies do not offer due to its labour intensive nature.

“After carrying out test marketing exercises with the help of Invest NI, I had the confidence to forge ahead – fully establishing the business, marketing our services across the whole island and recruiting staff to meet the demand that arose. Turnover has snowballed from there and we are now looking at how we can move into the GB and French markets to grow further.”

Mr McKibbin added: “With further assistance from Invest NI, we recently recruited a dedicated operations manager to oversee day-to-day business, enabling me to focus more on the company’s strategic development.”

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