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.

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.


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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.

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.


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.

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.

Ulster Carpets steps in to acquire Axfelt from Axminster Carpets

Ulster Carpets is pleased to announce the acquisition of Axfelt, manufacturers of high quality and fully sustainable underlay.

The purchase of this successful brand further demonstrates Ulster’s commitment to developing complementary products to enhance its customer offering.

Ulster’s ethos and future plans very much revolve around quality and service excellence, and these standards will be brought to bear at Axfelt ensuring the existing product is fully supported and developed at the existing Axminster Carpets base.

David Acheson, Ulster’s Head of Strategic Operations commented, “We are delighted to be playing a part in the immediate retention of one part of the facility at the Axminster Carpets site. Working with the current employees, Ulster is committed to growing and developing this highly successful product in Devon. Ulster Carpets are already developing a number of related businesses in the locality with a view to further increasing employment opportunities as it continues to expand its wider brand portfolio.”

Axfelt is made from 100% recycled materials, including wool rich carpet and rubber tyres. This fits perfectly with Ulster’s desire to develop environmentally responsible UK based manufacturing facilities. The recycled nature of the product was an important factor in the decision and it is planned that the Axfelt production facility will become a future Group hub for developments in recycling, as well as a home for repurposing the Group’s current yarn and carpet waste.

The acquisition is being funded from cash reserves and continues to reflect Ulster’s philosophy of acquiring high quality businesses in the floor covering and luxury interiors sector.


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.