Unique Timber Sets Fast Pace In Northern Ireland And The Republic

Sep 28, 2006

Unique Timber Frame, a Derry-based company owned by two experienced businessmen and backed by Invest Northern Ireland, is enjoying record sales in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Based at Claudy and formed by local businessmen Brian Grant and Gary Mullan, Unique Timber has secured a series of contracts in Northern Ireland and the Republic for housing developments and prestigious one-off building projects and is on target for continuing high growth.

Invest NI is assisting the company in key areas such as marketing, particularly in the Republic of Ireland, and process development. Around 40 per cent of the company’s business is now in the Republic.

The growth will mean three new jobs at the company over the next 12 months. It recently invested £70,000 in a new computerised timber cutting machine that is resulting in greater flexibility, increased productivity and faster response times. It has also harnessed state-of-the-art computer technology in the engineering design and specification of building projects.

“Our success is based on the 20 years technical experience that we both have in the timber frame industry and also our sharp focus on added value services to customers,” Mr Grant says. “Furthermore, demand for timber frame homes is growing strongly because they are quick to construct, which improves cost-effectiveness, and offer qualities such as natural insulation, thereby offering energy savings.

“We manufacture panels and other components in our 20,000 sq ft factory on a three acre site at Muldonagh to rigorous quality standards and using the best materials available. Quality control is also maintained during on-site construction by our experienced team.

“Invest NI’s North West Local Office has been tremendously helpful in providing very practical advice and support needed to ensure the profitable growth of our business,” he adds.

Mary Gormley, Invest NI’s North West Local Office Manager, commenting on Unique Timber’s success, says: “The company ‘s performance is very encouraging, reflecting a high degree of credibility in the ability and experience of the management team.  This has enabled management to establish the company quickly within their target markets in a growing industry with specific opportunities for high quality manufacturers.

“In addition, management has maintained a tight control on production and other costs which has ensured its competitiveness. The sector, furthermore, offers a high level of growth as evidenced by a number of industry reports. In particular, the Republic of Ireland timber frame market is forecast to grow by over 20 per cent to £260 million over the next five years.

“Our support is geared to assist the company in the development of its management capability through the introduction of specific marketing expertise in Northern Ireland and the Republic,” she adds.

The company is projecting significant growth in employment and export sales over the same period. The two owners are investing over £300,000 in the development of the business.

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