Category Archives: News

MINISTERIAL VISIT FOCUSES ON SUSTAINABILITY

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

SPONSORSHIP DEAL WITH OLIVIA MEHAFFEY

Ulster Carpets have become sponsors of leading Northern Ireland golfer, Olivia Mehaffey.

Following a highly successful amateur career, the 23-year-old made her professional debut at Symetra Tour’s Mission Inn Resort and Club Championship in Orlando at the end of May.

Olivia made it clear that a connection to home was a necessity when it came to her sponsors and she is proud to be representing Ulster Carpets whose headquarters are less than 10 miles from her family home in Northern Ireland.

Nick Coburn, Managing Director of Ulster Carpets, commented, “Olivia has shown real dedication in building a successful amateur career and has become such a positive ambassador for Irish golf. As she moves onto the professional stage, we are delighted to become one of her sponsors and to support Olivia in her ambitions of inspiring more girls to take up golf and to attract more women to sport.”


Olivia has also announced her signing with Dublin based sports management company Sigmoid Sports, which was co-founded by high performance coach, David Kearney alongside Rob Browne. Sigmoid Sports offers a slightly different approach to sports management where the performance and overall care of the athlete is the absolute number one priority.

In addition to Ulster Carpets, Olivia will also be sponsored by the globally diversified industrial company, Carlisle Companies, New York headquartered entertainment venue, Five Iron Golf, Dublin and Belfast based IT recruitment experts, Realtime, and Belfast’s Aktivora.

A former player at Tandragee Golf Club, in recent years Olivia has been based at Arizona State University where she is only the third, four-time All American in ASU history. Her representative honours include numerous appearances for Ireland as well as two Curtis Cup and Palmer Cup team selections.

Olivia intends to play tournaments in both the US and in Europe through sponsor invites until she heads to Q-School in August with the aim of gaining full status on the LPGA Tour.

 

 

NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Ulster Carpets have become a Patron of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber).

As a new NI Chamber Patron, we join a select group of leading businesses who lend their support to the development of the region’s economy and business community. The partnership offers mutual benefit and will see Ulster Carpets now benefit from increased brand exposure among the business community and close association with a leading membership organisation.

Announcing the Patronage, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive, NI Chamber said:

“Ulster Carpets has a strong relationship with NI Chamber and has lent its support to our Learn Grow Excel business support programme for a number of years. Off the back of this success, I am delighted to announce that the company has decided to strengthen this association further, by coming on board as one of our Patrons.

“Ulster Carpets is a significant employer and one of Northern Ireland’s best-known export success stories. We really value its support and look forward to continuing to work with the team as we support businesses across the region to reach their full potential.”

Nick Coburn, Group Managing Director and Deputy Chairman at Ulster Carpets, and Board Member and Past President of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, added:

“Ulster Carpets are delighted to become a Patron of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce. We have supported the Chamber for many years and have first-hand experience of how the essential work they undertake on behalf of businesses across Northern Ireland positively impacts on the local economy.

“Ulster’s global outlook is balanced by a focus on supporting our local community and the Northern Ireland economy and these are attributes that we share with the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry.”

Ulster Carpets joins a list of NI Chamber Patrons which also includes Caterpillar, Danske Bank, DSV, fonaCAB, Investec, Moy Park, Pinsent Masons, Power NI, Randox, Queen’s University, Ulster Bank and Ulster University Business School.

Widad Neiroukh, Head of Design in the Middle East

ULSTER DEMONSTRATES COMMITMENT TO MIDDLE EAST MARKET

Ulster Carpets have strengthened their position in the Middle East market by appointing a new Head of Design for the region.

“Our customers in the Middle East appreciate the unique design capabilities that we can offer and the high levels of quality we deliver,” commented Elaine Patterson, Contract Sales Director for Europe and the Middle East at Ulster Carpets. “Having a dedicated and knowledgeable sales team in the Middle East has been integral to our success in this important market and this latest announcement further demonstrates our commitment to the region.

“We are currently working on a number of exciting projects in the Middle East and, as the hospitality sector continues to reopen, we are confident of adding to this.”

Ulster Carpets, B2B Tower, Al Abraj Street, Business Bay, Dubai

In a move that will promote further growth, relocating to the B2B Tower at Al Abraj Street, in association with local on-shore company, Al Ghetaa Trading LLC, places Ulster at the heart of the important Business Bay and Design District in Downtown Dubai.

Ulster has also boosted an already successful team with the appointment of Widad Neiroukh as Head of Design in the Middle East. Widad has extensive experience in the carpet industry and she has worked on a range of high-profile projects across the world.

“Ulster’s reputation for innovative design and the highest quality carpets attracted me to the company,” said Widad. “I also share their philosophy of building successful relationships and I am excited to be working with such a forward-thinking company.”

Widad joins Ulster’s dedicated Middle East team that includes Sam Khodr, General Manager Middle East Office, Isaac McElroy, Regional Sales Manager, and Marilou Pantila, Sales Administrator.

Sam is well respected in the industry for his knowledge of the Middle East market while Isaac has global sales expertise, having worked in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia before joining Ulster Carpets. They are backed up by Marilou, in our sales administration department, who ensures the highest levels of customer service.

The Middle East team is supported by design, planning and manufacturing expertise at Ulster’s head office in Northern Ireland.

As the premier supplier of Axminster and Wilton carpets to the hospitality sector across the world, Ulster have worked on a wide range of projects for all the leading hotel brands right across the Middle East, including in Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, Iraq, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

To contact the Middle East team CLICK HERE or for a closer look at some of our Middle East projects, CLICK HERE

ULSTER NAMED BEST LUXURY COMMERCIAL CARPET MANUFACTURER

The judges at the 2020 Hospitality Awards have named Ulster Carpets as the Best Luxury Commercial Carpet Manufacturer 2020.

Established by LUXlife Magazine, the Hospitality Awards are designed to reward and recognise the firms, and the individuals behind them, that have worked tirelessly over the past 12 months to achieve industry leading success, client satisfaction and market growth.

Ulster’s submission to the awards was judged alongside information collated by an independent research panel. To receive an award, there had to be evidence of expertise within our industry, a dedication to customer service and client satisfaction, and an ongoing commitment to excellence and innovation.

Recognising our success in the hospitality industry across the world, the award once again demonstrates our unique combination of design, quality and service.

Take a closer look at some of our projects – www.ulstercarpets.com/contract/projects

Ulster rug investment

ULSTER’S NEW RUG INVESTMENT

We have the edge on our competition thanks to new investment in rug edging technology at our headquarters in Northern Ireland.

With the growing demand for a rug service from both our residential and contract customers, we have added two new machines to provide the perfect finish to our beautiful rugs.

This latest investment provides a range of productivity and environmental benefits while further enhancing our high levels of quality control.

To read more about our commitment to the environment, visit our Environment page.

Supporting the community

Ulster Carpets have always taken its role within the community very seriously supporting many charities and community initiatives since it was founded over 80 years ago. Now is no different, with the company helping in a number of ways during these difficult times.

A £50,000 donation to support front line workers in the local Craigavon Area Hospital, has been made through a trust fund set up by Ulster Carpets. This has purchased over 9,000 bottles of hand sanitiser for hospital staff from local business Frazers who began production of this much needed product.

A further £15,000 donation has also been made by the trust to support the Southern Area Hospice Services in its vital work in the local area. The Southern Area Hospice Services is a charity dedicated to the equitable delivery of specialist palliative care to patients who have Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease and AIDS and to their relatives and carers. Like many charities it has seen its funding drop dramatically over the past few months and this donation will help to ensure these services can continue.

Dr John Wilson, Chairman of Ulster Carpets and Trustee said “The John Wilson Memorial Trust was set up in memory of my late father, one of the five children of George Walter Wilson who founded the company in 1938. My father believed strongly in helping the local community and as a frontline NHS doctor I have seen first hand the devastating effects of the Covid pandemic. I am delighted that both the trust and the company have been able to help and support these vital local services”

Alongside the Trust, Mourne Textiles, sister company of Mourne Weavers who are part of the Ulster Group have been inspired by the nations pictures of rainbows to create a limited edition rainbow scarf, with all the profits going to the Northern Ireland Hospice and Children’s Hospice ‘Now, More than Ever’ emergency appeal. The scarves are individually woven on vintage shuttle looms, sewn and finished on site at their hand weaving workshop at the foothills of the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland.

Ulster Carpets are also providing logistical support by collecting and delivering components that are being made across Northern Ireland for the production of Hero Shields for health care workers.

The company is proud to be able to play its part and support its community during these uncertain times.

Read more about the John Wilson Memorial Trust here.

Need Help? We are Here!

To our clients worldwide

Firstly we hope and trust that you and your families are safe and well in what is a very uncertain time for us all.

We are all adapting to new ways of working and communicating with each other and remain committed to providing the support for your projects that you have come to expect from Ulster.

Our designers, planners & sales staff across the world are working actively from home to bring your projects to life. Design work, colour support, plans & commercial specifications are all available through our highly skilled teams.

Our online portal provides you with endless design inspirations, access to our wide range of colours and the opportunity to bring your creative ideas to the fore.

Handtrials and colour tufts are also available for despatch, on our fast 3 day turnaround, from our head office to assist you with your project development.

We are here to do our part in keeping your projects on track so please don’t hesitate to contact your local sales representative if we can help in any way.

Above all stay safe and well.

CORONAVIRUS – IMPORTANT INFORMATION

In light of the evolving Coronavirus situation, we want to reassure our customers that we are taking appropriate measures to maintain our high levels of service during what is a challenging time for everyone.

Our manufacturing capabilities, at present, remain unaffected and as a vertically integrated company we are in complete control of our supply chain. This allows us to complete orders as planned and to maintain supplies.

We take great pride in the strong relationships we have with our customers and we will continue to work tirelessly to minimise disruption and help everyone through what is an unprecedented situation.

We will continue to keep you up-to-date with any changes to the current situation. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your sales executive or contact us directly on +44 (0)28 3833 4433

Nick Coburn
Group Managing Director

SUPPORTING #EACHFOREQUAL

Ulster Carpets have a proud history as an industry pioneer and a closer look at our workforce reflects that we also lead the way when it comes to gender equality.

Supporting the campaign theme #EachforEqual for International Women’s Day on 8th March, we can point to a history of gender equality that goes right back to the roots of the company.

Formed in 1938, just before the outbreak of the Second World War, Ulster Carpets had to quickly diversify, not just in terms of stopping carpet manufacturing to focus on creating products to help the war effort but also with women taking over the then traditional role of men who were off fighting in the war. This started a process of ensuring employment opportunities for women that has continued over the last 80-plus years.

Today, Ulster Carpets continues to be a standard bearer for equal opportunities. Women make up 40% of the current management team while 76% of the design team – a critical aspect of our success – are women.

Meanwhile, 54% of staff across professional areas of the business – such as sales, technical services, design, finance, IT, customer services, HR and marketing – are female. When combined with the managers and directors of these various departments, the male/female ratio is almost a perfect 50-50 – 49% men and 51% women.

However, the perfect example of how barriers to progression have been removed at Ulster Carpets is demonstrated at the highest level where there is a 50-50 split of men and women on our Operational Board of Directors. That is a significant difference to 20 years ago when there was only one woman on the Board.

As our Personnel Director, Caroline Whiteside, explained, representation at every level of Ulster Carpets has been matched by a commitment to gender equality.

“We’re not required by law to publish a Gender Pay Gap report but we feel it is important to demonstrate our commitment to gender equality,” said Caroline. “We have a record of removing the barriers faced by women in the workplace and offering equal opportunities to all our staff.

“Women taking up managerial and director positions at Ulster Carpets is the norm and we can point to numerous examples of staff who have proved there is no glass ceiling to progression here because of their gender.

“Some started on our hugely successful Graduate Programme while others have worked their way up through various positions in the company. However, regardless of where they started, first and foremost our focus is on recognising an individual’s ability and performance, regardless of gender.”