Castledawson builder targets growth in Republic

Modern Building Solutions in Castledawson is being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to grow sales of its modular homes and leisure buildings in the Republic of Ireland.

The company, formed last November by experienced businessmen Michael Stewart, the Managing Director, and Noel Teague, Production Director, has developed quality homes and other buildings which it is now manufacturing off-site in its factory. The company has now developed quality opportunities particularly in the Republic and has received export support from Invest NI to explore and exploit business opportunities there.

Marketing and other assistance for Modern Building Solutions was announced by Des Gartland, Invest NI’s North West Regional Office Manager in Londonderry, during a visit to the Castledawson business. He was briefed about the company’s future plans by Mr Stewart, who told him it aimed to create six posts for skilled workers over the next year and expected to grow exports to the Republic to around 40 per cent of turnover.

Said Mr Gartland: “Modern Building Solutions has identified a significant business opportunity for high quality homes that are affordable and likely to appeal in particular to first-time buyers, retirees and those seeking leisure accommodation.

“The current position of sterling against the euro also gives the company a sharper competitive edge in the Republic, which it is keen to exploit as quickly as possible. Our assistance has been shaped to help the company market its expertise and products in this important market. It’s a further example of our focus on construction, which has been adversely affected in this area because of the economic downturn.

“The project is also being driven by two experienced business people who have extensive knowledge of the advantages offered by off-site manufacturing techniques. The investment will extend the knowledge base within the construction sector in the North West and will provide worthwhile employment for skilled workers. It will also, of course, offer a realistic option for first-time buyers seeking an affordable home,” he added.

Outlining the company’s growth strategy, Mr Stewart said: “Our objective is to provide a value for money solution to a range of sectors. As well as offering first-time buyers an opportunity to acquire a quality and very competitively priced home, our market research has highlighted significant scope to develop business in the leisure and light commercial sectors.

“Modular construction is now widely accepted as a very cost-effective means of developing quality buildings faster and to the same exacting standards as traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ techniques. In addition, modular buildings are robust and hold their value. This means that owners can expect a good return on their initial investment.

“Interest in our range of homes is growing strongly in both Northern Ireland and the Republic, and we expect to see business grow strongly in both sort and long-terms. We can offer customers a complete turnkey solution in terms in outfitting buildings.

“Invest NI’s encouragement and support has been immensely important to us in setting up the business. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the agency particularly in the development of new applications for our technology,” he added.