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Celebrating 85 years in the community

4th July 2023
Ulster Carpets 85th anniversary Family Fun Day
Celebrating 85 years of Ulster Carpets are (from left) Edward Wilson, Past Group Chairman; John Wilson, Group Chairman; and Nick Coburn, Group Deputy Chairman and Managing Director. Edward is the son of company founder, George Walter Wilson and John and Nick are the founder’s grandsons.

This year we are celebrating 85 years of supporting the community.

The milestone was marked with a Family Fun Day at our head office in Portadown that supported a wide range of local business and celebrated our place at the heart of the community.

Now a globally successful company, our headquarters has remained on the same site in Portadown that the company was formed on in 1938.

Ulster Carpets is also still owned and run by the family of founder, George Walter Wilson, and his motivation for starting the company remains central to Ulster’s philosophy.

During the 1930s, like most of the UK and Ireland, people in Portadown were facing the Great Depression with traditional industries in severe decline and unemployment levels at a record high. To combat this, Mr Wilson explored different manufacturing opportunities that would create much-needed employment for people in the town.

Ulster Carpets was officially registered in 1938 with 19 employees based on the site of a former linen mill. Fast-forward 85 years and the Ulster Carpets Group now employs over 700 people across the world.

Nick Coburn, Managing Director, said, “When my grandfather started Ulster Carpets, his key objective was to support the local community by creating jobs that the people in Portadown and the surrounding areas so badly needed.

“From that simple idea of helping people into employment, we have grown to become one of the town’s largest employers, with carpets designed and manufactured in Portadown now found in homes, hotels, casinos and cruise ships across the world.

“My grandfather would be proud of how his successful his company has become and of the fact that we have been granted a Royal Warrant.”

From job creation, the community ethos at Ulster Carpets remains important.

“As we have grown, supporting the local community has remained an important philosophy for Ulster Carpets. Both as a company and through The John Wilson Memorial Trust we continue to help local businesses, charities, community organisations and sports groups to build a stronger society.”