Invest NI supporting Cookstown firm to break GB market

Cookstown company Turkington Livestock Systems is targeting Great Britain for growth as it looks to double its external sales and boost overall turnover by 40 per cent following support from Invest Northern Ireland.

Turkington designs, manufactures and erects prefabricated livestock housing for the agricultural market. In the last two years Invest NI has supported the company to invest over £200,000 in the recruitment of a Managing Director, improvement of its IT systems and, most recently, in rolling out a major marketing campaign for Great Britain.

Kevin McCann, Director of Transport, Construction and Tourism in Invest NI, says: “Over the last 40 years, Turkington Livestock Systems has established itself as a market leader in livestock housing on the island of Ireland. The company is seeking to build on this success by actively targeting potential new clients in GB. With a commitment to penetrating new markets and a competitive product range, Turkington is well equipped to significantly grow its turnover.”

Turkington has also recently developed an innovative poultry house made from GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic). This is the first of its type and offers the low maintenance advantages of a steel house but at a much lower cost, both in terms of monetary outlay and the environmental impact.

Managing Director of Turkington Livestock Systems Ernie Lee explains: “Our new GRP poultry houses require no painting, very little maintenance and are cheaper, more aesthetically pleasing and more sustainable than conventional steel structures. We have had very positive feedback from initial product launch and the major players in both meat processing and egg packing throughout Ireland have supported their growers in the purchase of GRP houses.

“We consider the product to be an integral part of our growth strategy and, with Invest NI’s backing, will be giving it significant exposure through website, direct mailing and advertising campaigns. We also plan to attend the main trade shows on the mainland in order to increase market awareness.

“These projects have been aided considerably by the investment in our IT systems and the benefits this has delivered. This has seen us incorporate the latest Computer Aided Design and stock control software, enabling us to retain our flexibility whilst streamlining our operations, improving project management, implementing efficiencies and providing the customer with a superior quality product.”

Mr Lee concluded: “Invest NI’s advice and financial support has been invaluable throughout the process and I look forward to continue working with the agency as the company achieves new levels of success.”