Miller Wicks (NI) Ltd, which specialises in the design, manufacture and repairing of traditional wooden flutes, has recently received support from Invest Northern Ireland to establish itself and help export its products.
The newly formed business, based in Kilkeel, is the only local manufacturer of hand made wooden flutes, using quality African blackwood seasoned for three years, and plans to target export markets in the Republic of Ireland, Great Britain and the United States. It has already received an order from the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards and is currently in negotiations to provide flutes to other regiments.
Invest NI has given the company a broad range of assistance including marketing advice and guidance, IT support and management and revenue grants to help it achieve its ambitious export strategy.
Speaking on the future plans of Miller Wicks (NI) Ltd, company director James Norris, said:
“We are still at the very early stages of our development but are using various e-marketing techniques and our own contacts to help secure an extensive client base.
“As we build a strong reputation for producing a first-class product we hope to attract new customers from across the world and grow our business,” he continued.
The company’s main target base will be bands people as well as amateur musicians. To help the business retain its competitive edge Miller Wicks (NI) Ltd also plans to diversify its product range and manufacture other specialist models of flutes and fifes.
Commenting on the company’s business potential Mark Bleakney, Regional Manager of Invest NI’s southern local office said:
“Miller Wicks (NI) Ltd is an example of a good local business with a unique product. Operating in a niche market sector the company is developing a well-earned reputation for quality and innovation.
“By supporting its development we are assisting a local start-up with significant exporting potential, in line with our aim of generating increased wealth for the Northern Ireland economy” he continued.