New environmental business in Coleraine aims for fast export growth

Apr 09, 2008

Sol-Air Environmental (Sol-Air), a new start-up company in Coleraine, is being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to develop markets, including the Republic of Ireland, for its sun rooms and conservatories.

The company has been formed following the acquisition of an existing company, Oracle Building Systems, by three local businessmen, Bob Barbour, Lawson McDonald and John McCormick.

Invest NI is assisting the new business to develop its export sales through its Growth Accelerator Programme (GAP), which offers companies targeted support to grow markets outside Northern Ireland.

The business designs and supplies pre-assembled bases and roof sections for sun rooms and conservatories. These are currently manufactured on a sub-contract basis by other local companies.

The company’s sun rooms are installed in a few days with minimaldisruptioninany weatherand require no drying-out period. Sol-Air Environmentalsun rooms are the first to meetnew building regulations with"u" value of 0.18 with factory finish each time.

Announcing assistance for the company, Des Gartland, Invest NI’s North West Regional Office Manager, said: “Our support is designed to accelerate the company’s market entry through a range of activities including branding and promotional materials, attendance at trade fairs and market visits. It has an experienced management team, products with significant market potential and a clearly defined strategy.

“Our objective in providing marketing support is to help the company to bring forward plans it has to develop added value services to customers faster. Our funding will enable the company to appoint a sales and marketing executive, develop promotional materials and take part in targeted trade shows,” he added.

Mr McCormick, Sol-Air Director, outlining the company’s business strategy, said: “Our research has identified a significant market opportunity, initially in the Republic of Ireland, for the high quality, innovative products that we are developing and which offer significant benefits over those currently on the market.

“We also believe there is substantial scope to market these products, which comply with EU building regulations, successfully in Great Britain and further afield.

“The management team has extensive experience across a range of business disciplines and considerable knowledge of the marketplace.

“To achieve the growth we project, we intend to strengthen our sales and marketing activities and offer customers added value services. These include customised product design, mentoring/installation training and a turnkey service that covers assistance with the necessary planning and building approvals,” he added.

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