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Ulster Carpets | Platinum Jubilee design competition

Emily puts the finishing touches to her Jubilee rug design

The winner of the Northern Ireland’s Office Platinum Jubilee design competition, Emily McMullan age 11 from Dundonald Primary School, has visited Ulster Carpets to help turn her design into a special gift for Her Majesty the Queen.

Emily was invited to meet the designers at Ulster Carpets after she was announced as the winner of the competition by Northern Ireland Minister of State Conor Burns during a special ceremony at Hillsborough Castle last month.

During her visit, Emily was given a tour of the factory by Ulster Carpet designers Sarah Healy and Sinead Tumilty, discussing her design and learning how it is being turned into a special gift for Her Majesty the Queen.

Minister of State for Northern Ireland Conor Burns accompanied Emily on her visit at Ulster Carpets, seeing some of the quality work and expertise that has seen the manufacturing company granted a Royal Warrant by Her Majesty.

Primary schools across Northern Ireland were offered the opportunity to take part in a unique competition to design a “snapshot” of Northern Ireland as part of this year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Emily’s design was chosen from over 2000 colourful and creative entries to the Northern Ireland Office competition, from children in schools from every county in Northern Ireland.

Once completed the specially designed jubilee rug will be delivered to Her Majesty the Queen as a gift from the children of Northern Ireland in her Jubilee year.

Speaking about her design and her visit, competition winner Emily McMullan said:

“I was very surprised to win the competition as there were so many other good entries. I did the design in my art class at school and I wanted to add as many places as possible that reminded me of home.

“I really enjoyed my visit to Ulster Carpets and learning how they design and make carpets. It has made me think about being a designer when I’m older.”

Discussing Emily’s design, Ulster Carpets designer Sinead Tumilty said:

“Emily’s design shows a snapshot of multiple recognisable landmarks and structures from across Northern Ireland.

“The composition has been confidently and creatively considered, demonstrating a strong but refined illustrative style with a thoughtful use of colour, line work and shading. This artwork has multiple elements which make it identifiable to Northern Ireland and Emily should be very proud.”

Speaking after the visit, Minister of State Conor Burns said:

“It is amazing to see Emily’s brilliant design beginning to come to life through the work of the talented designers at Ulster Carpets.

“Emily should be incredibly proud of her effort which showcases some of the very best of Northern Ireland’s beautiful and well known places.

“I look forward to seeing Emily and Ulster Carpets work being presented to the Royal Household later this year as a gift to mark the incredible and historical 70 years of service of the Queen.”

IMAGE: Working on her rug design for Her Majesty the Queen is Platinum Jubilee Design competition winner, Emily McMullan, with Northern Ireland Minister of State Conor Burns and Carpets designers Sarah Healy and Sinead Tumilty. Photography by PressEye

Minister of State Conor Burns & Managing Director of Ulster Carpets with competition winner Emily McMullan & finalist Thomas Porter. Also finalist Fiadh Rose Kelly's design

Emily wins Platinum Jubilee competition.

Minister of State for Northern Ireland Conor Burns has announced the winner of the Northern Ireland Office’s Platinum Jubilee design competition

Emily McMullan, age 11 from Dundonald Primary School was revealed as the winner after she, and her fellow finalists, were invited to a special ceremony at Hillsborough Castle.

Emily’s design was chosen from over 2000 colourful and creative entries to the competition, from children in schools from every county in Northern Ireland.

Emily was joined in the final three by Fiadh Rose Kerr, age 6 from Omagh Integrated Primary School and Thomas Porter, age 8 from St Joseph’s Primary School.

Emily will visit Ulster Carpets later in the summer, working with their professional designers to turn her ‘snapshot’ into a wonderful rug.

Once completed the specially designed jubilee rug will be delivered to Her Majesty the Queen as a gift from the children of Northern Ireland in her Jubilee year.

Minister of State for Northern Ireland Conor Burns said:

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the truly amazing artistic and illustrative talent that I have seen in response to the Northern Ireland Office’s Platinum Jubilee Rug competition.

“Emily’s design shows some of the very best of Northern Ireland, with its well known landmarks instantly recognisable and synonymous with this beautiful place.

“I can’t wait to see Emily and the designers at internationally recognised Northern Ireland manufacturer Ulster Carpets bring the winning design to life over the summer ahead of the rug to be presented to the Royal Household as a gift to mark the incredible and historical 70 years of service of the Queen.

“I’m incredibly proud of Northern Ireland’s young people – from schools in every county here – and grateful to their parents and teachers who have helped make this idea such a success. Thank you all.”

Group Managing Director of Ulster Carpets Nick Coburn said:
“We are delighted at the wonderful artistry shown by primary school children across Northern Ireland and the fantastic response to the design competition.

“Selecting a winner was an extremely difficult task and we can now look forward to transforming Emily’s wonderful design into a rug for Her Majesty The Queen.”

Headmaster of Dundonald Primary Julian Byers said:

“We are delighted that Emily’s picture has been chosen as the winner. Her magnificent drawing, showing the iconic landmarks of Northern Ireland, transformed into a rug, will be a lasting memory of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, taking pride of place in Buckingham Palace.”

Minister of State Conor Burns & Ulster Carpet designers Sarah Healey & Sinead Tumilty with competition winner Emily McMullan.IMAGE: Minister of State Conor Burns & Ulster Carpet designers Sarah Healey & Sinead Tumilty with competition winner Emily McMullan.

Nick Coburn CBE, Group Managing Director, and Joyce McIvor, Contract Sales Director for UK and Ireland, being presented with a Royal Warrant, granted by by Her Majesty the Queen.

Ulster Carpets Granted Royal Warrant by HM The Queen

Ulster Carpets have been granted a Royal Warrant by Her Majesty The Queen.

As one of Northern Ireland’s leading exporters, the company, which manufactures luxury carpet for customers across the world from their headquarters in Portadown, becomes just one of three Royal Warrant holders based in Northern Ireland.

Nick Coburn CBE, Group Managing Director, said, “To receive the Royal Warrant in Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee year is a real honour. This achievement has taken several years of dedicated work by our staff and it further underpins the huge success and progression of Ulster Carpets, particularly as we look forward to celebrating our 85th anniversary next year.”

Still based on the same site that Nick’s grandfather founded the company on, Ulster’s forward-thinking and innovative approach has helped them to grow globally from their headquarters in Portadown.

“Ulster have always been synonymous with quality carpets for the home but we also design and manufacture bespoke carpets for the world’s leading hotels, casinos and cruise ships.

“One of the key reasons behind this success is that we are the only fully integrated manufacturer of woven carpet operating entirely in the UK. From sourcing the highest quality wool and spinning and dyeing the yarn, through to the bespoke design and weaving of our luxury carpets, we have complete control over every step.

“We are continuing a significant investment programme to create and secure jobs in the UK, which will grow our business across the world.”

To mark this year’s Jubilee, the Northern Ireland Office have launched a competition for primary school children to design a rug, which will be manufactured by Ulster Carpets before being presented to The Queen.

Ulster Carpets are also continuing to work closely with the Royal Household to develop designs for Royal Residences.

 

IMAGE

Nick Coburn CBE, Group Managing Director, and Joyce McIvor, Contract Sales Director for UK and Ireland, mark the news that Ulster Carpets have been granted a Royal Warrant by Her Majesty the Queen.

Minister of State Conor Burns with Group Managing Director of Ulster Carpets Nick Coburn

Platinum Jubilee design competition launched in local primary schools

Primary schools across Northern Ireland are being offered the opportunity to take part in a unique competition to design a gift for Her Majesty the Queen as part of this year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The Northern Ireland Office competition, launched today (Friday May 6th) by Minister of State Conor Burns, will offer schools the chance to design a postcard depicting a snapshot of Northern Ireland. This will then be manufactured into a rug to be sent to Her Majesty the Queen by leading Northern Ireland company Ulster Carpets.

Minister of State Conor Burns with Ulster Carpets Field Designer Sinead Tumilty
Pupils at Downshire Primary School in Hillsborough show Minister of State Conor Burns their entries for the Platinum Jubilee design competition.

Speaking at Hillsborough‘s Downshire Primary School as pupils there began to work on their entries, Minister Burns said, “This competition is a fantastic opportunity for Northern Ireland schoolchildren to get involved in producing a unique gift for Her Majesty the Queen as she celebrates this special year.

“The Platinum Jubilee year is a key occasion to acknowledge the amazing dedication and service of Her Majesty the Queen over 70 years, and I’m proud that the young people of Northern Ireland will be directly involved in commemorating it.

“I look forward to seeing the creative designs from local pupils, and the wonderful rug which will be produced by Ulster Carpets to depict the winning snapshot of Northern Ireland.”

Group Managing Director of Ulster Carpets, Nick Coburn, said, “We are proud to offer this unique opportunity to mark the Queen’s Jubilee in such a special way.

“We have no doubt that our young people will be able to demonstrate their creativity and produce a design that perfectly encapsulates Northern Ireland. We may even be able to find some talented artists who could be our future carpet designers.”

The competition will be open until Friday 27 May, and the winning pupil will work with Ulster Carpets to develop their design – as well as seeing it in the production process.

The winning child and their class will then be invited to a special unveiling ceremony in the autumn ahead of the rug being sent to Her Majesty the Queen.

 

Ulster Carpets and Mourne Textiles launch new joint venture

Ulster Carpets has formed a joint venture with Mourne Textiles, a hand loom weaving workshop in Rostrevor, to create a new company known as Mourne Weavers.

This collaborative partnership will create a number of new jobs and will also allow both companies to share knowledge and expertise to explore global opportunities. Both Ulster Carpets and Mourne Textiles will continue to trade as normal, with Mourne Weavers operating separately from new premises in Warrenpoint.

Both Ulster Carpets and Mourne Textiles are third-generation, family-owned companies that have helped retain the rich heritage of Northern Ireland’s textile industry on the global stage.

Mourne Textiles creates a range of artisan goods that are sold in regions as diverse as Japan, Australia, North America and Europe. The new joint venture, Mourne Weavers, will combine the key strengths of both companies to produce luxury woven furnishing fabrics, curtain fabrics, cushions and blankets for the commercial interior design sector.

“In terms of quality craftsmanship, bespoke designs and local heritage, both Mourne Textiles and Ulster Carpets have a shared philosophy and a strong passion for our industry. That is why the creation of Mourne Weavers is the perfect partnership,” explained Mario Sierra, Creative Director, Mourne Textiles. “We are delighted to have secured this substantial investment from Ulster Carpets that will allow us to retain the core strengths of Mourne Textiles while growing into new sectors with Mourne Weavers.”

Ulster Carpets is aiming to build on the company’s success within the artisan sector, following the 2016 acquisition of Herefordshire-based Roger Oates Design, which designs and hand produces unique stripe runners and rugs.

David Acheson, Head of Strategic Operations at Ulster Carpets, explained, “The creation of Mourne Weavers and the product range that it will offer perfectly complements Roger Oates Design. We have no doubt that we will be able to combine this expertise with our knowledge of the global market to firmly establish Mourne Weavers within the commercial sector.”

Nick Coburn, Group Managing Director at Ulster Carpets, continued, “This investment in Mourne Weavers is indicative of the forward-thinking ethos of both companies and is in line with the core values of quality and design at Ulster Carpets.

“Despite the many challenges within the global market, we continue to show confidence in the marketplace and we are excited about the new opportunities that this new joint venture will bring.

“It also underpins our ongoing growth and diversification strategy to invest in the development of similar businesses and allows us to widen our portfolio into this exciting niche sector in Ireland.”

Mario Sierra, Creative Director, Mourne Textiles (left) and David Acheson, Head of Strategic Operations at Ulster Carpets, pictured in the new workshop of Mourne Weavers - a joint venture between the two companies.
Mario Sierra, Creative Director, Mourne Textiles (left) and David Acheson, Head of Strategic Operations at Ulster Carpets, pictured in the new workshop of Mourne Weavers – a joint venture between the two companies.
Nick Coburn Ulster Carpets Group Managing Director and Deputy Chairman

Nick Coburn awarded CBE

Many congratulations to our Group Managing Director and Deputy Chairman Nick Coburn who has been awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to the economy in Northern Ireland. A truly well deserved honour.

Speaking about the recognition, Nick said: “I am truly honoured to receive this award which only comes with the support and guidance of so many good people.”

Nick is pictured in front of a portrait of his grandfather George Walter Wilson who founded Ulster Carpets in 1938.

Ulster carpet in the atrium of the cruise ship Arcadia

Arcadia

For Arcadia’s most recent refit P&O Cruises engaged leading hospitality design practice RPW Design to update the ship’s interior décor and reinvigorate its unique character.

Ulster Carpets was delighted to work with RPW Design to create over 15,000m² of custom axminster carpets for the ship’s bars, restaurants, lobbies, spa and fitness centre, galleries, reception, atrium and guest suites.

Visit our marine project gallery to read more about Arcadia and view photos

Picture by William Cherry / Press Eye (left to right) Mary Montgomery, John Wilson, Nick Coburn, Ulster Carpets Group Managing Director and Deputy Chairman, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Councillor Julie Flaherty, Edward Wilson, Ulster Carpets Group Chairman, and Caroline Somerville pictured at the officially opening of Ulster Carpets’ state of the art Dyehouse and Energy Centre.

Dyehouse and Energy Centre official opening

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Councillor Julie Flaherty today (Monday 10 September) unveiled Ulster Carpets’ new Dyehouse and Energy Centre, the first stage of the company’s £40 million capital investment and regeneration programme.

The state of the art facility located at Ulster’s Portadown headquarters sees traditional dyeing methods replaced with innovative technology which will improve energy efficiency, increase capacity and reduce the environmental impact of the company’s dyeing processes. This new building was designed and constructed by local businesses, a deliberate strategy by Ulster Carpets, supported by Invest NI, to continue to invest in the local economy and support local jobs.

Officially opening the new Dyehouse and Energy Centre, the Lord Mayor, Councillor Julie Flaherty said: “Ulster Carpets is clearly demonstrating their commitment to local jobs and the economy with the development of this impressive new facility. It’s fantastic to see this family business achieving success across the globe while keeping manufacturing here in the Borough.”

Nick Coburn, Ulster Carpets Group Managing Director and Deputy Chairman, added: “We are delighted to mark the official opening of our state of the art Dyehouse and Energy Centre today. This new facility, designed to improve energy efficiency and to significantly reduce the company’s carbon footprint, completed the first phase of our major £40 million regeneration and capital investment programme.

“Ulster Carpets has been manufacturing carpet for 80 years in Portadown and today 75% of our product is exported out of the UK. As an indigenous Northern Ireland company we have proven that it is possible to successfully sell to every continent in the world despite many barriers and challenges. Ulster Carpets has always taken a long view of continually investing for the future and we are proud to be the leading company in our industry on the international stage.”

BBC Radio Ulster Inside Business

BBC Radio Ulster Inside Business

Great Northern Ireland companies.

Ulster Carpets Group Managing Director and Deputy Chairman Nick Coburn joined BBC Radio Ulster’s Wendy Austin MBE and a panel of Northern Ireland’s best known companies to discuss their progress over the years.

Ulster Carpets is a family owned but professionally managed business that has retained its Portadown manufacturing base for 80 years. In the podcast Nick explains how Ulster Carpets has continually invested in new technology and innovation while looking ahead to meet new challenges.

Listen to the podcast

Wendy Austin chats to a host of Great Northern Ireland Companies including Ulster Carpets to discuss their progress over the years.

Bespoke carpet in Sofitel Dubai Downtown

Middle East update

Ulster Carpets expands its presence within the Middle East

Ulster Carpets is seeing continued high demand for bespoke luxury axminster carpets from the hospitality sector in the Middle East.

Our current list of prestigious projects throughout the region includes:

  • W Muscat, Oman
  • Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai, UAE
  • Saadiyat Rotana Resort and Villas, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • St Regis, Amman, Jordan
  • Le Gray, Beirut, Lebanon
  • Le Méridien Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • One & Only Seef, Bahrain
  • Hilton Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Jabal Omar Marriott Hotel, Makkah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Centara Grand West bay, Doha, Qatar
  • Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

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In addition to our long established Dubai Office headed up by our Regional Sales Manager Mr Scott Hanna, and Operations Manager Mr Wael Momen, Ulster Carpets is delighted to announce the partnership of P.I.S. International and Jedari Trading under the leadership of Mr Sam Khodr representing Ulster Carpets in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Sam brings over 20 years’ experience in sales and installation on contract projects within the Middle East region.

Mr Sam Khodr, Mr Scott Hanna and Mr Wael Momen

Pictured above (l-r) – Mr Sam Khodr, Mr Scott Hanna and Mr Wael Momen

Welcoming Sam’s area representation, Nick Coburn, Ulster Carpets Group Managing Director and Deputy Chairman, said: “The Middle East is a key market for Ulster Carpets and we are delighted to have Sam coming on board. This partnership puts us in a great position for further development and growth in the region.”

With a reputation for exceptional customer service and superior quality as well as creative design talent and innovative technology, clients worldwide choose Ulster project after project.

Learn more about our contract projects in our projects gallery.