Invest NI helps Belfast business open new doors
Picture by Michael Cooper
Pictured (left) is Gareth Presley, Slidingbifolds, with Carol Keery, Invest NI.
Belfast business Slidingbifolds is expecting to significantly boost its sales, after taking its first step into research and development with the support of Invest Northern Ireland.
The business, set up less than two years ago in Castlereagh by Gareth Presley, specialises in the manufacture and installation of bespoke timber and aluminium bi-folding and sliding doors and window systems.
With over £43,000 of R&D support from Invest NI, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the business has developed a unique curved bifolding door system.
The new system is constructed of engineered timber and can incorporate an integrated layer of insulation. Slidingbifolds has already been approached by a number of architects, developers and hoteliers from the UK and the Republic of Ireland who have expressed an interest in the new curved door concept.
Speaking about the research and development project, Gareth Presley said: “This new product will really set us apart from our competitors and we anticipate that it will result in a significant increase in sales particularly in the commercial, leisure and healthcare sectors.
“The support from Invest NI was really vital in allowing us to proceed with the project and we are already planning a further R&D project for the future.”
Carol Keery, Invest NI’s Director of Research and Development, said: “Slidingbifolds applied to Invest NI under our Boosting Business through R&D initiative. The company is new to R&D and we were happy to work closely with it to make available the resources needed to ensure the success of the project.
“The resulting new product will help to significantly increase the company’s turnover. Slidingbifolds is a good example of a small company that has discovered the benefit of undertaking R&D and has been able to take innovative ideas forward because of the support available from Invest NI.”
Slidingbifolds has also recently received £49,000 of support under Invest NI’s Jobs Fund to increase its workforce to eight, enabling it to deal with the increase in business over the last six months and anticipated new contracts resulting from the new curved bifolding door system.