Business

Soft furnishings firm Bedwin to grow workforce with acquisition of Oaktree Blinds

Bedwin Soft Furnishings directors Ossie Wallace and Erica Maxwell with (right) Alan Pickering, founder of Oaktree Blinds

KILKEEL soft furnishing business Bedwin Soft Furnishings has paid an undisclosed sum to acquire Portadown-based Oaktree Blinds, creating three jobs and bringing its total headcount to 25.

And Bedwin, which also has outlets in Newry and Banbridge, has pledged to make a £100,000 investment in bespoke machinery.

The acquisition deal, set to complete next month, will see Oaktree founder Alan Pickering come on board in a sales role within the newly-branded ‘Oaktree by Bedwin.'

Throughout the course of the pandemic, Bedwin has seen its business grow significantly, and a separate £250,000 investment in a new furnishing factory has given the company the impetus to enhance its service and product offering and gain new, and prestigious contracts.

In recent months Bedwin has won contracts with notable names including the NHS Northern Ireland Framework, Lusk Community College, Newbridge Integrated College and Newtownards Crematorium, having also worked with Liberty Insurance and Queen's University since 2020.

‘Oaktree by Bedwin' will see the business diversify and enhance its overall blinds offering to the wider UK and Ireland market, opening up new opportunities within sectors including motorisation, shutters and Soft Cloth window dressing.

Bedwin sales director Chris Wallace said: “The acquisition of Oaktree Blinds is a strong statement of intent for our business, particularly within the blinds industry that has seen continuous growth in recent years. And being able to bring in someone with the reputation and expertise of Alan, as part of the deal is equally as significant.

“We've worked hard to develop our market share in recent years, and this is another positive step in growing our workforce, product offering, and customer base. The future is looking bright for the Bedwin business.”

Mr Pickering added “I'm immensely proud of the business built by Oaktree since 2009 and delighted to be able to continue much of our work for long-standing and new customers through the brilliant Bedwin company.

“I know the Wallace family well and have no doubt they will help nurture and bring the Oaktree brand from strength to strength in the coming years.”

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