Art Glass opens windows to faster growth

Art Glass, a specialist stained glass design, restoration and conservation company, is strengthening its position in the Republic of Ireland with help from Invest Northern Ireland.

Based at Skeoge Business Park, Art Glass, Artists in Glass are working on a substantial contract at Enniscronne in Co Mayo for a complex of new stained glass windows in the church. The contract for 20 large scale and religiously themed windows is believed to be the biggest new stained glass design project this year on the island of Ireland.

The company’s latest success in the Republic, which currently provides around 70 per cent of its stained glass and general glazing business, was welcomed by Des Gartland, Invest NI’s North West Regional Office Manager, during a visit to its design and manufacturing plant. He met Philip and Sinead Coyle, the husband and wife team who run the successful business.

Art Glass won the contract at Enniscronne in 2007 and is currently installing the stained glass windows that the team in Londonderry designed and made in consultation with the church authorities in Co Mayo.

Mr Gartland said: “This is an immensely impressive project that shows the superb design and production skills to be found here at Art Glass. It has unrivalled expertise in the design and production of stained and leaded glass for a range of applications including hotels, public buildings and, of course, church buildings in Northern Ireland, the Republic and further afield.

“When one sees the quality of the work on the Enniscronne contract, it’s easy to understand how the company has built up a portfolio of high profile clients, particularly in the Republic that includes major architectural practices and contractors.

“Our support for this ambitious company is geared to help it develop its range of products, grow its exports, currently exceeding 70 per cent of turnover, increase manufacturing efficiency and marketing.

“Art Glass is now ideally placed to take advantage of the trend towards the greater relevance of works of Art and Imaging in glass as a lifestyle/public canvas, community statement. To achieve this, the company is developing customer focused flexible and adaptable solutions that meet the needs of individual clients in terms of Stained, Etched, Cast Glass and other decorative glass products.”

Mr Coyle said: “The Enniscronne contract was quite a challenge because of the number, size and style of the windows required. Our glass is being use by the local community to provide a more ecstatically pleasing interior in keeping with the importance of the building within a traditional building dating back to the sixties. We were delighted to have the abilities of our artists recognised by the very positive feedback from the church authorities.

“Our focus is on continually seeking to innovate, to explore the medium in which we are expert, and to use the knowledge and skills we’ve built up over the years in a broad range of restoration, design and glass glazing operations. Invest NI has helped us to improve our overall competitiveness through, for example, the development of new products, and in marketing our artistic expertise. In addition to the Republic of Ireland, we’ve also won some business in Britain and see this as a market offering huge opportunities.

“We see opportunities to grow our company further by using our capabilities to develop our services in decorative laminated/fire glass,” he added.