Business

Co Antrim kitchen furnisher Uform creates 40 jobs with £3 million expansion

Pictured at the expansion of the Uform factory in Toomebridge are: Brian Shane, corporate banking manager at Danske Bank; Paul Donnelly, director and Simon Oliphant, managing director (both Uform) with Geoff Sharpe, head of corporate at Danske Bank and Eamon Donnelly, chairman of Uform

AN award-winning Toomebridge-based kitchen furniture supplier has completed a £3 million expansion of its premises, creating 40 jobs over the past year.

Uform, founded in 1993 by the Donnelly family, specialises in the manufacture and wholesale of kitchen furnishings, with the Co Antrim business now employing 165 staff.

The latest expansion is part three of a four phase development to help the business reach the targets set out in its strategic plan and has added 60,000 sq feet of additional factory space. The company has also rapidly grown its turnover from £8.6 million to £22.8 million in just four years.

A long-standing relationship with manufacturers in Italy means Uform imports a majority of its materials before customising them to meet the needs of the retailer.

The company works in tandem with the manufactures to design and innovate an aspirational and inspirational product portfolio. Currently the business is distributing upwards of 1,000 kitchens a week for retailers in the UK and Ireland.

Uform managing director Simon Oliphant said the £3 million expansion is part of a long term plan to grow the business.

"We've carried out two major factory extensions and invested in two new state of the art paint lines. The technology is a first for our sector in the UK and Ireland and will greatly increase our efficiencies, capacity and quality whilst adding significantly to our product portfolio. Enhancing our Kitchen Stori brand is critical to the ongoing success of the company.”

Discussing the plans for phase four, Mr Oliphant added:

“We have some additional land surrounding our current facility so we will be looking to further extend the factory and improve our distribution centre. We have also set ourselves a target of reaching a turnover of £34m by 2019 which we feel is a realistic goal.”

Danske Bank has helped finance the expansion at Uform and corporate banking manager Brian Shane described the company's growth as "remarkable".

“The latest expansion to the Uform premises is a vote of confidence in the sector and local area by the Donnelly family."

“The company has set itself very ambitious growth plans for the next two years and we are delighted to be working with them to help achieve these goals," he added.

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