Plaster firm Surfaceform based in Cookstown is investing £160,000 in export growth measures following success with its unique wall installations in Brussels and Hong Kong.
Invest Northern Ireland has supported the company over recent years with its training costs and technical development. Surfaceform has also benefitted from an R&D grant towards the creation of its modular plaster panels which have been well received by customers across Great Britain.
Speaking about its success and future plans, Aaron McKeown, founder of Surfaceform, said: “Over the past six months we have been working with the Marks & Spencer creative team to produce bespoke commissions using our decorative plaster panels. The installations appear in M&S’ Flagship store in Brussels at the Toisson d’Or shopping complex on Gulden Vlieslaan and also in Times Square, one of Hong Kong’s largest shopping malls.”
The Co. Tyrone business is keen to continue this success and has recruited a Business Development Manager to drive new business activity through targeted sales and marketing. Invest NI has offered £67,000 to support the company’s market development activities.
“Our aim is to double our sales outside Northern Ireland by 2017,” explained Aaron, “so, with Invest NI’s support, we are taking a targeted approach to market development to raise our profile and establish a competitive position in Great Britain.
“In the longer term, we hope to leverage the success we gain in Great Britain, to target new business further afield in the United States and United Arab Emirates.”
The innovative company operates in the decorative surfaces market. It offers high quality bespoke wall, floor and surface finishes using a range of products, including resin, clay, metal leaf, plasters and decorative panels, to clients, such as architects and interior designers.
Damian McAuley, Invest NI’s Director of Advanced Engineering and Construction, said: “This is a strategic investment by Surfaceform, aimed at building upon the growing awareness of the company among current and prospective customers in Great Britain.
“The success of its commissions with Marks and Spencer is a valuable stepping stone for Surfaceform to showcase its product offering and leverage future business.
“The support the company has received from Invest NI including support with recruiting a Business Development Manager will help to help raise its profile, drive new sales and enable the business to achieve its growth potential.”
Surfaceform’s products have been used in high end commercial and private projects such as Google’s European headquarters, Harrods Department store and the Butler’s Chocolate cafe in Dubai.