Award winning Northern Ireland company aims for sales in Poland

Following recent business successes in Romania, Delap & Waller, the Northern Ireland building services design consultancy is building sales in Poland with help from Invest Northern Ireland.

This design engineering practice, which has its head office in Londonderry, is a recent winner of a prestigious Engineering Excellence Award from the influential United Kingdom Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) for work on a major project in Northern Ireland.

The decision to focus on sales in Warsaw, the Polish capital, was announced by Liam O’Hagan, Delap & Waller Managing Director, and welcomed by Des Gartland, Invest North West Regional Office Manager, which assisted the practice to explore business in Poland.

Delap & Waller also established sales in Bucharest, Romania in 2006 with assistance from Invest NI.  The practice has already been commissioned to carry out substantial projects in Romania, including 11 major shopping malls, a network of cinemas, a residential complex of 600 apartments, and a residential development of 250 apartments as well as numerous other projects.

Invest NI’s North West Regional Office (NWRO) in Derry is assisting the practice in developing its exports through the Growth Accelerator Programme.

Mr Gartland said: “Delap & Waller has an impressive track record of achievement especially in export markets. We have been working closely with the practice in a number of areas including market research in Romania and Poland, as well as its ongoing interest in information technology.

“The practice has also used Invest NI funded trade missions to investigate both export markets.  I am also aware that Delap & Waller has won a substantial project in Bulgaria through involvement in a recent Invest NI trade mission.

“It’s an excellent role model of a business specialising in knowledge-based professional services that is winning significant business outside Northern Ireland.

“This focus on growth, particularly in new markets outside Northern Ireland, is the right response to the current recession.  Our commitment is to encourage and assist ambitious companies like Delap & Waller which are investing in export markets while maintaining tight control over costs,” he added.

Mr O’Hagan said: “We’ve carried out extensive market research in Poland over the past year and see significant opportunities there for our expertise. I’ve been visiting Poland virtually on a monthly basis and have made a number of important contacts that could lead to worthwhile business.

“My research indicates that there are good opportunities there for our range of professional services, arising particularly from the ongoing investment in infrastructure and private sector construction projects.

“Working in Central and Eastern European markets is not a new experience for us.  As well as Romania, we’ve gained considerable knowledge and expertise working in other parts of Eastern Europe including Russia and the Ukraine.

“Winning the award from the Association for Consultancy and Engineering for our work on The Braid, the Ballymena Museum and Arts Centre is an important endorsement of the quality of the services we provide and we have no doubt will be of benefit as we continue to expand our business. “

“The Braid featured cutting-edge design using low carbon energy systems carefully integrated into a complex building and demonstrates how we can reduce the environmental impact of buildings in the future,” he added.

The ACE Engineering Excellence Awards showcase consultancy and engineering firms who had demonstrated a high degree of achievement, value and engineering excellence over the last 12 months.  Speaking after the event, ACE chairman Geoff French proclaimed the awards as a boost to the sector, and paid tribute to the number of pioneering projects that had been honoured.