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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.



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.


1 Hotel South Beach Miami

Ulster Carpets Awarded For Green Leadership

Ulster has been recognised for green leadership, achieving Silver in the 2021 NI Environmental Benchmarking Survey organised by Business in the Community.

The Survey, sponsored by Moy Park and supported by Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, recognises and rewards organisations that are going above and beyond their legal requirements to improve their environmental impacts and better manage their resources and provides a roadmap for improvements.

Of the 113 organisations from a range of sectors who measured and reported their environmental impacts, Ulster are the only textiles company in NI to take part.

Eddie Ruddell at Ulster Carpets, said: “As a responsible manufacturer, we recognise the importance of sustainability and environmental protection. The NI Environmental Benchmarking Survey was an opportunity to have this commitment independently verified and we will use this result to set our next targets. Our ultimate aim is to attain Platinum level and we are confident that our long-term strategic plan will help us achieve this.”

Managing director of Business in the Community, Kieran Harding, added: “The Survey is an important comparison tool and a way for organisations to not only be recognised for their environmentally sustainable efforts, but also to identify areas where they can improve. It also serves to highlight key environmental areas they need to be thinking about for the future. I want to congratulate and thank all firms that have stepped forward to take part in the Survey, and report on their environmental practices.”

You can read more about our commitment to the environment here:

Thank you to the Belfast News Letter and Portadown Times for highlighting this recent achievement in green leadership.

cruise ship interiors expo london

Cruise Ship Interiors Expo | Europe | London 2021

It’s just one week until the Cruise Ship Interiors Expo Europe (CSIE) takes place in London, and Ulster are delighted to be attending.

“CSIE provides a gateway for the cruise interiors supply chain to meet with Europe’s most esteemed cruise lines, designers, and shipyards working on major refurbishment and newbuild projects.”

Taking place 1 – 2 December at London’s ExCeL, this exhibition gives those in the cruise industry a chance to reconnect after the pandemic and discuss moving forward.

Our dedicated Marine Team will be exhibiting at Stand 825, so if are at this event, come and talk to us about the flooring requirements for your next cruise project.

To register for the event for free, go to

You can also visit our Marine page to take a look at what we have already achieved on some of the world’s leading cruise lines.

abc sports awards launch 2022

ABC Senior Sports Awards 2022

Sports Awards Sponsorship

Ulster is proud to be the Headline Sponsor for the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council Senior Sports Awards 2022.

“Organised by the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum in association with the Council, the annual awards recognise the wealth of sporting talent in the borough and celebrate the achievements of those who have excelled in their chosen sport, as well as recognising the invaluable contribution from our coaches and volunteers.”

At Ulster, we have always had a deep-rooted relationship with sport, and it is great to be associated with something that recognises the achievements of local sportspeople.

abc sports awards launch 2022

At the launch of the awards, our Managing Director, Nick Coburn said, “Since the company was established, our ethos has been to support our local community in any way that we can.  Sport plays such an important role in bringing people together from all walks of life and in instilling values such as fairness, discipline, perseverance and respect, values we also admire in our employees.  We are very much looking forward to celebrating the achievements of our sports stars at the ABC Senior Sports Awards.”

The awards will take place on Thursday 3 March 2022 at the Belmont House Hotel, Banbridge. In the meantime, nominations are open online until Friday, December 31st at 5 pm.

If you’d like to nominate, go to

For more information on the awards and our sponsorship, click here.

To keep in touch with the latest news from Ulster, sign up to our newsletter here.

power ni ulster


Ulster Carpets can create carpet in any colour imaginable but now each one will be a little bit greener thanks to a new agreement with Power NI.

The premier supplier of Axminster and Wilton carpets to the world market have now switched to a new Green Energy contract from Power NI, Northern Ireland’s leading energy provider.

This will now see the Portadown company’s manufacturing and warehouse facilities supplied with green energy generated by local, renewable sources.

Eddie Ruddell, Health, Safety and Environment Manager at Ulster Carpets, said, “We have always been a company with an ethos of sustainability. Founded in 1938, the company has invested in key strategic innovations to maintain local jobs, create a premium product and export globally to some of the most luxurious establishments in hospitality.

“As a manufacturer, we have a responsibility to steward our people and planet well. Our latest strategic move in sustainability has been to partner with Power NI to procure 100% green electricity for our NI operations. This commitment has been forecasted to reduce our carbon footprint by over 950 tonnes per year – a key step in moving to decarbonise our manufacturing operations.”

Power NI supplies around 40,000 businesses across NI with over 150GWh of that electricity provided as Green Energy. Power NI’s parent company, Energia Group, to date has invested over €1 billion in the energy market across NI and ROI focusing on their core segments of Renewables, Flexible Generation and Customer Solutions.

Power NI Ulster Carpets
Pictured L-R are Ulster Carpets’ Adam Stevenson, Procurement Manager, and Eddie Ruddell, Health, Safety and Environment Manager, with Power NI’s Commercial Marketing Manager, Amy Bennington.

Amy Bennington, Commercial Marketing Manager at Power NI, said, “As Northern Ireland’s largest electricity supplier, and as part of the Energia Group, we are committed to transforming how our customers use and generate energy, in a way that has a positive and sustainable impact on the environment. We are delighted to supply Ulster Carpets with Green Energy which would be the equivalent of powering over 1,000 average homes in Northern Ireland for a year.

“As a Climate Champion and signatory of Business in the Community’s Climate Action Pledge, we’re working collaboratively with organisations across Northern Ireland to address the climate emergency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

The energy switch with Power NI is the latest move in Ulster’s long-term commitment to sustainability and they encourage other local businesses to see what they can do to act on climate change.

CDPB Fellowship Launch



Ulster Carpets is supporting a prestigious new Fellowship programme by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building.

Our Managing Director, Nick Coburn, is on the Fellowship’s Advisory Board and he recently joined business, political and civic leaders at Stormont to launch the new programme. Nick was also part of a panel discussion exploring the Spirit of Possibility along with Belfast Lord Mayor, Kate Nicholl, UN Youth Delegate, Tara Grace Connolly, and FinTru CEO Darragh McCarthy.

The aim of the fellowship programme is to support, develop and build the capacity of 24 mid-career leaders in civic society, business, and politics in Northern Ireland.

“Ulster Carpets was established to create jobs towards the end of the 1930’s Depression and this is another step in that journey,” explained Nick. “We don’t see Ulster Carpets as just a business but part of the fabric of our community.

Nick Coburn Ulster Carpets
Nick Coburn, our Managing Director, speaks at the Fellowship launch.

“That ethos has led us to developing links within the community and supporting local ventures. Through this, we have seen the positive impact this has had and, by supporting the work of the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building we believe we can create more optimism and hope for the future.”

The leadership symposium at Stormont is the first step in the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building’s ambitious plans.

The programme aims to strengthen democratic institutions and ensure that current and future political and civic leaders in Northern Ireland are best placed to lead us into the next decade.

The Fellowship is delivered by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building (CDPB), working with key stakeholders and facilitators from the business sector and leading academic institutions. As well as Ulster Carpets, the programme is supported by Allstate NI, Devenish, FinTrU, Fujitsu NI, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

For more information on their work, visit

You can also keep up to date with all things Ulster by signing up for our newsletter here.


Inspiring more girls to take up golf and attracting more women into sport is hugely important to Olivia Mehaffey.

The recently turned professional was back at Tandragee Golf Club this week to spend time with some junior club members and to help them in the same way she was when she was younger.

“I have been receiving messages from younger girls saying they have started playing golf and have been watching how I play. That is very special for me to hear, and I hope I can be a strong role model for them.”

Before the visit to Tandragee, Olivia had swapped lush greens for luxury carpets during a tour of Ulster Carpets, one of her sponsors. During the visit around the state-of-the-art facilities in Portadown, Olivia also learned about Ulster’s significant support to youth sport which the company provides on a fully inclusive and wide basis throughout the whole community.


Nick Coburn, Managing Director of Ulster Carpets, commented, “We have been eagerly following Olivia’s progress since she turned professional and are very proud to support her.

“We have a long-established tradition of backing initiatives that encourage young people to participate in active sport and we are fully supportive of Olivia’s drive to encourage more girls and women into golf. The importance of developing talented individuals is also very much in line with our own ethos.”

After completing tournaments in the US and in Europe, Olivia now heads to Q-School with the aim of gaining full status on the LPGA Tour.









Ulster Carpets have reaffirmed their commitment to sustainability during a visit by UK Government Business Minister Paul Scully MP to our Portadown headquarters.

Ulster are the premier supplier of Axminster and Wilton carpets to the world market and the focus of the visit was our ongoing sustainability initiatives that have targeted areas such as water reduction, resource efficiency, waste management and energy usage.

Nick Coburn, Managing Director of Ulster Carpets, commented, “The Minister’s visit is a great opportunity to outline our continuing commitment to protecting the planet.

“Through innovative thinking and a long-term investment strategy we have developed efficient and sustainable processes without compromising on performance and luxury. We have made great strides forward in recent years and through further targeted investment we plan to cut our carbon footprint even further.”

UK Government Business Minister Paul Scully, added, “The UK Government’s on a mission to build back better and greener from the pandemic and sustainable businesses like Ulster Carpets are at the heart of this. I look forward to seeing where their next innovation takes them.”

UK Government Business Minister Paul Scully MP tours the innovative Dyehouse and Energy Centre at Ulster Carpets.

During his visit, the Minister learned more about the sustainable processes at Ulster Carpets, ranging from the use of wool, which is a rapidly renewable material, in their carpets through to the manufacture of Axfelt, a luxury underlay made from 100% waste materials.

Plans are now in place to build on the success of Ulster’s Recycling Hub and to power the company’s manufacturing facilities using green energy.


Read more about our sustainability commitments HERE