Partnership Approach Set to Deliver £2 Million of Sales for Belfast Firm

Belfast-based James Leckey Design Ltd has announced a strategic partnership with an international distributor and designer of rehabilitation and medical products which will increase sales by more than £2 million by 2007.

James Leckey Design is recognised as the UK market leader in the design and manufacture of specialist rehabilitation equipment for children with moderate to severe physical and learning disabilities.

The firm’s latest addition to its product portfolio is a revolutionary bathing and toileting range - developed with R&D assistance from the Invest Northern Ireland Compete Programme – which succeeded in attracting the attention of German firm Otto Bock.

From January 2006, Otto Bock will distribute this new range and other products from the Leckey portfolio in the European and Asia Pacific markets.

Not only will this strategic partnership serve to widen distribution networks for Leckey’s, it will also enable the firm to access Otto Bock’s technical knowledge and expertise as they work together on new product development projects.

James Leckey Design Ltd believes that the Otto Bock partnership will significantly strengthen its presence in export markets and further develop its design capability.

“Whilst we have captured much of the UK market and established strong links in the US and Europe, we realised that our limited global infrastructure was preventing us from exploiting further export opportunities,” says Gary O’Hagan, Managing Director, James Leckey Design Ltd. “Our partnership with Otto Bock will allow us to sell through their strong sales channels in up to 142 countries and we are anticipating a rapid increase in our global reach by 2007.

“The Invest NI Compete Programme continues to be a huge source of support for us in the creation of innovative, new products. Now, our strategic partnership with Otto Bock will help us to take our R&D commitment a step further as we explore mutually beneficial joint development projects with a firm renowned for its expertise in the rehabilitation equipment market.”

Tracy Meharg, Managing Director of Innovation and Capability Development, Invest NI adds: “Invest NI’s range of R&D focussed support and services, including the Compete Programme, are designed to help local companies achieve global excellence.

“Innovation is a crucial element in helping companies to become world class in addition to creating wealth in the local economy. Developing new products, forming strategic alliances or simply changing working practices can bring multiple benefits, helping firms to increase capability.

“From inception, Leckey’s business strategy has clearly demonstrated a commitment to such innovation and a desire to develop a strong presence in international marketplaces. It is this commitment that has clearly provided a solid foundation for the firm’s continuing growth and success, and which will be augmented by the Otto Bock partnership.”

The Invest NI COMPETE Programme is currently seeking applications from local businesses. For information on the programme and eligibility, please contact Andy Reilly on 028 9069 8765 or visit