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NorthernIreland Business awards2017 Rowallane Construction Ltd After being awarded ‘General Building Contractor of the Year 2017’, Jim Campbell gives us further insight into the company’s success and achievements.


IL Contracts

Best Full-Service Plant & Labour Hire Company - County Tyrone

Editor’s Note

, Welcome to the SME News Northern Ireland Business Awards 2017. With Northern Ireland being a growing and strengthening economic influence in the UK, the 2017 Northern Ireland Business Awards seek to celebrate and promote local businesses of various size and influence. As a new edition to our prestigious award program, the 2017 Northern Ireland Business Awards is open to various industries across the board – ranging from communications services to real estate - committed to finding the very best of what Northern Ireland has to offer.. Hannah Stevenson, Editor Phone: +44 (0) 203 725 6842 Email: Website: AI Global Media, Ltd. (AI) takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality of the information on this web site. However, AI will not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or completeness of any information that is available through this web site. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. The information available through the website and our partner publications is for your general information and use and is not intended to address any particular finance or investment requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us or any of our partner publications and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making or refraining from making any investment or financial decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision. Any arrangement made between you and any third party named in the site is at your sole risk and responsibility.

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, 4.

General Building Contractor of the Year 2017 Rowallane Construction Ltd


Excellence Award for Youth Engagement Initiatives Girls’ Brigade NI

10. Best Home Automation Specialist 2017 & Excellence Award for Smart Home Security Solutions Ground Kontrol 12. Best Full-Service Plant & Labour Hire Company - County Tyrone IL Contracts 14. Best Commercial Insurance Brokerage - Northern Ireland MCM Insurance* 16. Natural Tourist Attraction of the Year 2017 Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre 17. Restaurant of the Year 2017 - Derry Arbutus at the Forum 18. Best Family-Run Painting & Decorating Company 2017 Classic Decorators 19. Butchers of the Year 2017 - Belfast Coffey’s Butchers 20. Best Security System Design & Installation Contractor 2017 Envision Intelligent Solutions Ltd 21. Best Coach Hire Company 2017 Patrick Gallagher Coaches 22. Best Performance Art Theatre - Newtownabbey Theatre at the Mill 23. Best Family-Run Irish Restaurant - Ulster The Old Thatch Inn 24. Most Influential Woman in Leadership Coaching 2017 Rapid Change Consultancy 25. Best Multi-Disciplinary Graphic Design Agency 2017 Oasis Design Studio 26. Best Golf Course & Dining Venue - Belfast Rockmount Golf Club

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Rowallane Construction Rowallane Construction Ltd is a third generation Building Company operating as general contractors, developers and house builders, calling on its experience to provide a professional approach to all client requests and requirements. Jim Campbell gives us further insight into the company’s success and achievements. Rowallane possesses a vast portfolio, spanning from traditional building contracts, new builds, fit out and renovations, to the design and build of large scale landmark developments. The company continues to set standards in the industry, through the speed and quality of its construction. Holding a wealth of experience, the firm deals with clients in a variety of areas, notably commercial projects, the education sector and healthcare. Add to this social and private housing, churches and hotels and it is clear to see why the company are trusted in so many areas by clients. Jim talks about the staff at the firm, outlining the firm’s vision and what steps it takes to ensure everyone at Rowallane is working to achieve the same goals. “Here at Rowallane, we have a small team of dedicated employees who pull together to deliver consistent quality on every project that has been worked on, whether with a Turn – Key approach or a more bespoke method. “Reaching targets is important to the firm, and our vision is to continue to set standards in the industry through the provision of innovative, sustainable

construction solutions that exceed client’s expectations, and are delivered to the highest level of integrity, quality and safety, within budget and on or ahead of schedule.” Delivering a personal touch to its working approach, Jim comments on the hands-on attitude of the firm, with staff striving to deliver excellence at every stage of a project, ensuring that only the highest quality product is delivered from inception to completion. “Rowallane are hands-on builders, with the experience of hundreds of challenging projects and sharply-honed technical skills. We take pride in each and every project we undertake and strive to deliver excellence at every stage of a project, from the initial pre-construction planning through to the quality of finish throughout the building and the after-care service we provide.” Differentiating itself from other similar firms within the industry, Jim believes that the firm’s core values help serve as a guide for its actions, marking themselves out as the best possible option for clients. Being passionate, acting with integrity, providing building excellence, believing in health and safety and providing profit for all concerned within the projects, are the key values of Rowallane, as Jim mentions.

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“All staff are inspired and committed to setting standards within the industry. We are open to new ideas and challenges, and are always searching for continuous improvement. The company operate and build long-term relationships founded on integrity, mutual-respect and trust. The team treat our employees and all our partners with respect and professionalism, fostering an environment of open communication. “Through our skilled project management teams, Rowallane ensure quality standards exceed specification requirements by being responsive and by consistently delivering value. We encourage an environment of continuous learning and embrace new technologies to deliver more innovative solutions for our clients. At the forefront of our quality philosophy lies continuous improvement and our dedication to sustainability in build and to acting in an environmentally friendly way. Moreover, staff are committed to building for a better future. “Regarding health and safety, we believe that every injury is preventable and as a result we target zero work place incidents. We embed that philosophy into every Rowallane project through a combination of technical and field procedures and


General Building Contractor of the Year 2017

Company: Rowallane Construction Ltd Contact: Jim Campbell Email: Address: 82a Belfast Road, Saintfield, Co Down, Northern Ireland, BT24 7HE, UK Phone: 07730217020 Phone: 028 9751 1676 Website:

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ongoing training programs. Our commercial attitude stems from the belief that all projects need to be profitable for all concerned, most importantly, our clients.” Discussing the industry currently, Jim observes that there has been a greater demand for the skills of Northern Ireland firms throughout Great Britain, as he points out that the company was awarded the contract to extend the Hampton by Hilton Hotel at Exeter Airport, rather than a firm closer to home. “Building firms based in the province have seen a healthy increase in workloads and enquiries during the first three months of this year but much of this work is actually taking place on the mainland and not here in Northern Ireland. “This means that we are not seeing the local economic benefits that construction brings - instead, this is being enjoyed elsewhere. It is a testament to the quality of Northern Ireland building firms that they are so in-demand on mainland Britain, but it is my belief that we should be reaping the benefits of their talents locally. “In addition, the new housing is coming off a very low base, and it is estimated that we actually need around 11,000 new houses to be built every year in order to meet existing demand in Northern Ireland, Rowallane feels that as a local contractor the

benefits of working at home in the current climate outweighs the end to travel to the mainland.” Working within the construction industry, Rowallane must constantly adapt to the dynamic and ever changing work environment. Jim explains how the company works hard to maintain its success and stay ahead of any developments and change within the industry and the company. “An innovative and ambitious company, we are dedicated to continuous improvement strategies, applying new technologies and expanding and advancing to provide high quality solutions to complex challenges.” Guaranteeing clients get the best quality service, Jim notes how each project the firm takes on is managed carefully by an experienced and quality team, working with the clients and letting them know what is going on every step of the way. Repeat business and word of mouth are major factors in how companies can gain and keep business, and can be used as a measure of how successful the company is. “Regarding our project management, we support the management of every project with a dedicated team of specialists to deliver the best solution for each client. Our wide network of construction industry experts, depth of knowledge and experience, and exceptional

customer service gives our clients peace of mind and reassurance that their interests will be managed thoroughly and resourcefully. “Clients are probably one of the most important aspect of our work. We have seen markets, economies, competition and technology come and go over the past 60 years, but we have persisted by building customer relationships that last and acquiring industry knowledge that is ever deepening. We continue to embrace change as we live out our company’s founding values of continuously setting standards in the industry through the speed and quality of our construction. “In an effort to reduce the environmental impact of our projects, we are committed to setting standards in sustainability across the industry. Rowallane has formed a strong client base across a large number of sectors in Northern Ireland and further afield built on mutual respect, trust and the exceptional value we bring to every project. Our customer satisfaction is reflected in the huge percentage of repeat business achieved every year.” Ultimately, there is a lot to look forward to for Jim and Rowallane. As he states, the future is bright and the results highlight this, gaining a foothold in the market as it works to become a true leader in the industry. “Moving forward, our upcoming projects, working in Dublin, Cork, Belfast and Glasgow is testimony to the growth and emergence of Rowallane as a company that clients can trust to deliver on time to the agreed budget, every time. “Looking ahead, the future of Rowallane Construction Ltd is a bright one. We have sustained growth year on year, and have added to our growing portfolio of clients, across many different industries. Were once we were regarded as a small player, we have now gained a foothold in the market place due to our growing reputation for quality, reliability but most important of all, our integrity and work ethics.”

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General Building Contractor of the Year 2017

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Girls’ Brigade NI The Girls’ Brigade NI Ltd (GBNI) supports girls aged 3- 18 years, providing a bespoke youth and children’s ministry programme for churches and missions in Northern Ireland. We spoke to Gail Ferguson to find out more about the vital work this dynamic organisation undertakes. Supported by 284 GB Companies, totalling almost 22,500 members, Girls’ Brigade NI the largest uniformed organisation in the province. GB companies meet in churches/missions once a week from September to April/ May and offer a wide and varied programme of Bible study, craft, sport and other challenges in community and church service, designed to inspire and challenge girls to discover faith, make lifelong friends and uncover new gifts and talents. Gail explains the organisation’s history, ongoing mission and how its varied programme of events and lessons supports its achievement. “The Girls’ Brigade is a worldwide organisation based in over 50 countries. Each country runs independently under its own Constitution; however our identity, ethos and aim is the same. The Girls’ Brigade is celebrating 125 years in 2018, with the first company being

established in Sandymount, Dublin in 1893. It wasn’t until 1940 when it was introduced to Northern Ireland as a division of Girls’ Brigade Ireland. It was in 1991 when we separated and became Girls’ Brigade Northern Ireland. Across the province many churches have seen the added benefits to having a GB company associated to their church, as it has helped in the growth of their membership and for sharing their vision to teach children about God.

football. In GB, a girl could be learning to sew one week and the next week she could be learning to give CPR.”

“Our vision is that GBNI will be recognised as a dynamic, relevant, Christ-centred organisation effectively reaching out to all girls to value, nurture and equip them for life. This is achieved by the commitment and dedication of our volunteers who through accurate training and the development of resources deliver an appropriate programme that engages girls and young women on a weekly basis.

“With the increase in Mental Health issues and children on the ASD spectrum, we are noticing an increase demand from our volunteers to learn more on how to best to assist our members that require additional support. We recently ran a Mental Health Conference to raise awareness of some key challenges and to offer practical help for leaders when identifying potential issues. To support our children living with ASD, we have developed a Visual Aids Booklet which has been distributed to each of our GB companies to use as a tool to assist leaders improve communication and understanding with the children they work with. The booklet also has a mix of 6 languages to aid children with a language barrier. In June 2018, we will be running a “Supporting Disability and Autism in GB” workshop to give further support to our leaders to help them recognise the challenges a girl with a disability faces daily.”

“As such, we offer a varied programme that helps support the needs of each individual member promoting a safe environment where girls feel accepted for being themselves and learn skills that are achievable. All ages groups are given the opportunity to achieve goals and growth in each of the four aspects of our programme, Spiritual, Physical, Educational and Service. There is a wide range of topics covered under each of these elements allowing our volunteers to adapt each topic to suit each member and their capabilities. There are many clubs and groups, but the majority of them cater for one particular skill set like dance or

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Despite its legacy of excellence spanning over 125 years, GBNI remains dedicated to evolving and adapting to meet the ever changing needs of those it works with. As such, Gail is keen to emphasise how the organisation is adapting its programme to adjust to developments in the lives of the girls it supports.

Looking to the future, GBNI has many exciting plans to build upon its current achievements, as Gail proudly concludes.

“Ultimately, at GBNI we are always looking to grow our organisation and we have recently opened one new company with a further two in the pipe-line. We have a long-time goal to help build and sustain a school in Uganda to help children who have no opportunity of an education. We have recently committed to a project in Kisoro, Uganda in partnership with Fields of Life and the building work has begun on the school. We are currently encouraging our companies to support this project by carrying out fundraising events and later mission trips will be planned so that young people can go out and help in future developments of the site. “To help support our membership, we annually develop a Scripture Course that is kept relevant and interesting for the age groups that we work alongside. We have just completed the development of an under 5s Resource booklet and our 11+ year olds programme called the PSALT Files. We now have plans over the next year to develop our 8-10 year olds Junior Programme. Always improving and always moving forward to remain relevant is our ongoing focus.”

g Excellence Award for Youth Engagement Initiatives

Company: Girls’ Brigade NI Contact: Gail Ferguson Email: Address: C2 Kilbegs Business Park, Fergusons Way, Antrim, Northern Ireland, BT41 4LZ, UK Phone: 028 9454 8054 Website:

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Ground Kontrol Ground Kontrol is Northern Ireland’s leading Smart Home, Audio, CCTV, Alarm, Wi-Fi and broadband Solution provider. We spoke to Managing Director and Lead Engineer Raphael Scullion to learn more about the solutions it offers and how it works to provide the very highest standard of service and solutions. Established in 2015, Ground Kontrol is a young, vibrant and innovative installation firm offering a vast array of services, as Raphael is keen to emphasise.

us, and we pride ourselves in achieving 100% customer satisfaction, as one off our long-term commitments we as a company pledge to bring better internet and broadband speeds to any home in the UK or Ireland.

“Here at Ground Kontrol, we are committed to bringing a fast, reliable, cost effective service, and we feel we have established a business that can resolve any sort of networking issue, big or small. Recently have completed jobs whereby we have completely fitted out businesses with everything, from networking and cameras to the supplement of laptops, mobiles and PC’s.

“To achieve true client satisfaction, we are committed to high quality CCTV and Home security, allowing you to feel safe and secure in your surroundings. Our team of award winning engineers have years of experience and have worked all over the world designing and fitting different smart home automation including lighting control, multi room audio and visual, smart home security, HDD CCTV, smart heating and thermal control, medical and assisted living, farming and equestrian and marine based smart technology.”

Fundamentally, Ground Kontrol was also founded with a commitment to the people off the UK and Ireland to help deliver faster broadband to every home. This commitment has led to us launching our new product ‘Interwiz’, this innovative new product has led to us achieving superfast internet to over 100 rural homes with below speeds of 1mb.” Committed to client satisfaction, Ground Kontrol works hard to ensure excellence for them at all times. As such, Raphael explains the techniques the firm employees so that every customer has the very best possible experience when they work with his company. “At Ground Kontrol we use pioneering methods and state off the art technology to help you adapt to the ever-changing technological world around

It is the firm’s staff that are key to its success so far, as they work with clients to ensure that they receive a service that meets their needs, as Raphael highlights. “What differentiates Ground Kontrol from any other company in the industry is the depth of knowledge our engineers have and the lengths that our team will go to in order to achieve customer satisfaction. Our reviews say it all, in a survey conducted by our researchers we received 100% 5 star ratings with every reviewee rated our service as excellent.” Operating in the cybersecurity market, the company has a strong insight into the industry,

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both in Northern Ireland and internationally, which Raphael is happy to share with us. “Within the wider market, we are seeing a huge change in the way people are using technology, whether it be smart home technology or broadband solutions. The world is evolving and the people in Northern Ireland and especially in the mid-Ulster area are evolving with it. Gone are the days where Northern Ireland was looked at as a no go by businesses and tourists; today we are seeing large multinational companies starting to trade and use Ground Kontrol within Northern Ireland, we are also seeing large increases in small businesses using our services, these small business/sole traders are thriving in the bustling Northern Ireland market.” Moving forward, the firm is keen to build upon the phenomenal success it achieved so far, as Raphael is proud to conclude. “Overall, the future looks bright for Ground Kontrol, as we have some very exciting projects in store for 2018. We are due to launch our very own brand of smart technology, which we intend to start distributing within Northern Ireland in June of next year, and we are looking forward to showcasing this innovative range to our valued customers.”


Best Home Automation Specialist 2017 & Excellence Award for Smart Home Security Solutions

Company: Ground Kontrol Contact: Raphael Scullion Email: Address: 38c Airfield Road, Toombridge, Antrim, BT41 3SG Phone: 0789 427 3314 Website:

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IL Contracts IL Contracts is an innovative company in the field of Construction and Civil Engineering. We profile the firm to explore the secrets behind its success. Working with a variety of clients across many different sectors, IL Contracts has developed a reputation for providing high levels of quality and customer experience while remaining competitive in a busy market place.

firm’s such as IL offer clients more than just a service. As a family run business, IL is able to achieve this, and as such its mission statement is ‘Lyttle enough to care, big enough to cope’ and this is the driving force behind every job it undertakes. All contracts receive the utmost in care and attention to detail.

From schools to hospitals, highways to commercial buildings, the firm has the capabilities to provide an efficient and effective service every time. As such, it employs a group of highly skilled, professional people, and our ongoing commitment to their professional development ensures we retain a highly effective work-force. IL’s company culture focuses very much on the team and encourages employee participation and ideas, ensuring that it has not only a competent but happy and productive work force.

Situated in the heart of Mid-Ulster with over 10 years’ experience in its field, IL offer a wide range of services including fencing, drainage and highway works. A fleet of vehicles and a large inventory of plant for hire means that the company can provide a ‘one-stop shop’ service which is convenient for clients. With ISO approvals, every client can be assured of a competent and professional service when they work with IL.

Operating in a market that is becoming busier by the day, it is more important than ever that

Bolstered by this recognition, IL Contracts aims to continue to grow and develop its services, whilst still providing that personal, high quality service that it has become renowned for.

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Best Full-Service Plant & Labour Hire Company - County Tyrone

Company: IL Contracts Email: Address: 2 Magheraglass Road, Cookstown, Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland, BT80 9HX, UK Phone: 028 8675 1964

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MCM Insurance MCM Insurance Brokers is one of the largest independent Insurance Brokers in the UK. We spoke to David Nash as he explains what makes the company so successful. Originally formed in 1977 in Manchester, MCM Insurance expanded at an astonishing rate, and now offers a wide range of insurance products. During the economic downturn, the business continued to grow and the firm opened a new office in Northern Ireland in 2008. Guaranteeing the best customer service is essential to the success of the company, and David explains what it is that the company does to ensure staff are able to provide a high-quality service. David is keen to point out that staff work to advise customers and clients on their needs for insurances within a legal capacity and also what is needed to protect client’s assets. “Here at MCM Insurance, staff provide policy holders with professional expertise, treating them with the respect that they deserve and expect. Our people make the most of their experience and knowledge to advise their

clients, demonstrating a great understand of the insurance market. “Within Northern Ireland and the insurance sector, we do not have a particular type of client, instead offering a wide range of products across all industries, including reaching into Republic of Ireland. This is different to many other insurance intermediaries, as most of them tend to not operate on both sides of the border. The client is always put first regardless of their demands, and their insurance policies are tailored individually to meet their demands and needs. From inception to completion, we provide the same high standard of service to the client and treat them as we would want to be treated if we were the customer. By putting ourselves in the position of our clients, we are able to see how the client would want to be treated at every single stage.” MCM Insurance pride themselves on the ability to tailor each specific insurance policy to specific clients. They are presented with the best protection as possible, at

very competitive premiums and they are given peace of mind as the client is kept up to date with every single step of processing midterm adjustments and claims. Staff at the company work extremely hard and pay great attention to detail as they inspect all factors of insurers policy words, providing clients with the freedom to continue with their day to day operations, leaving the responsibility of the finer details to the team at MCM. Extensive knowledge is a key aspect of the company’s success, and the team are able to go through each detail with a fine-tooth comb. This takes all the stress away from the client and the friendly and professional approach provided by staff at MCM provides a great working service for the company. In his concluding comments, David looks to the future, as well as back at how far the firm has come, and what challenges the team has had to overcome in the insurance market to be so successful. “Fundamental to our success moving forward, MCM has developed an entire package which is suited to various customers, clients and businesses, throughout a variety of industries and sectors, enabling us compete with multinational insurance providers based across the UK, and of course, Ireland. “Recently, we installed a new operating system which was completely new, and we do not know of any other Intermediary within Northern Ireland that has this new insurance operating system software.”

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Ultimately, the new system has led to MCM having an edge over its competitors, and it can offer an instantaneous market feedback from all providers of the panel of insurers. Despite MCM’s head office being based in Manchester, the Northern Ireland office is managed locally, enabling it to meet the demands of the local market. There are a variety of factors which make the company successful, but its client first approach is definitely something to be recognised, as it looks to make clients matter. All our staff in the North West office are really very excited and proud to have won this prestigious award, we wouldn’t be where we are today without our clients. We will continue to deliver the service and the products to the highest standard at the most competitive premium available. Our moto is ‘Making Clients Matter’ and to make sure they are Insured to the best of our ability.

g Best Commercial Insurance Brokerage - Northern Ireland

Company: MCM Insurance Contact: David Nash Email: Address: Suite 2a, Spencer House, Spencer Road, Derry, Northern Ireland, BT47 6AA, UK Phone: 028 71 310 823 Website:

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, Natural Tourist Attraction of the Year 2017

Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre gives visitors a chance to explore the Burren’s uniquely shaped underworld and enjoy unexpected freedom with majestic Birds of Prey. Nuala Mulqueeney talks to us about the company’s services which it provides. At Aillwee, guests are able to indulge in the tasty rewards of smoky, traditional, farmhouse Burren Gold cheese or sweet fudge. Nuala talks us through the establishment’s projects and services offered, before discussing what differentiates itself from other similar facilities. “Here at Aillwee, we promote a variety of marketing strategies. This type of cross marketing is having positive effects for us, with the benefits including an

increase in visitors who spend time in the area, whilst also attracting visitors to the area during the shoulder months of the traditional tourist season.

Running guided cave tours also helps visitors and guests have an unforgettable experience. Return business is a key indicator of success, and Nuala is keen to point out how the guides pride themselves on ensuring that visitors have a good time.

“Being a family run tourist attraction that is open all year round in a traditional typical eight month per year tourist season, is something that we feel bucks the trend in our region. We hope that other businesses can follow our lead which will ultimately attract more visitors year round to The Burren, North Clare and County Clare region.”

“Ultimately, our guided cave tours of the unique Burren Aillwee Cave system are small in numbers. Our guides pride themselves in imparting their educational information in an easy, friendly manner that includes everyone from young to

Photograph by Robbie Reynolds

not so young. Additionally, staff also continually strive to create and maintain a connection with visitors during the cave tour. “Our falconers at the birds of prey centre are very knowledgeable and again keen to share their insights by being inclusive in their approach. Our Flying Displays are hugely interactive with members of the audience actively encouraged to take part. “Looking ahead, we will continue to be successful. We offer visitors one to one hands on time with our raptors. Called a hawk walk, this hour-long stroll through our Hazel Woodland with a Harris Hawk and falconer to guide has become a very popular and unique experience. Our teammanagers, cave tour guides, shop staff, cheesemakers and aides, falconers and volunteers have been and continue to be highly praised and reviewed by our visitors which speaks for itself.”

Company: Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre Contact: Nuala Mulqueeney, Director Email: Address: Ballyvaughan, The Burren, Co Clare, Rep. of Ireland Phone: 00353 65 7077036 Website:

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, Restaurant of the Year 2017 - Derry

Arbutus at the Forum The Arbutus Catering Company has over 15 years of experience in the hospitality sector. With 3 restaurants and 2 wedding venues, it is a growing company with an extensive group of well-trained chefs and staff. Barry gives us more detail about the company. With its opening hours on Wednesday to Saturday from 12.00pm until 5.00pm and late on show nights, Arbutus at The Forum offers both a classic and contemporary menu, stuffed full with fresh and exciting dishes. The venue is perfect for lunch, pre-theatre dining and evening dining. Barry tells us about the company’s mission, explaining how it plans to reach its targets.

“Here at Arbutus at The Forum, our philosophy of serving up the finest and freshest local produce combined with excellent service guarantees an enjoyable dining experience. We achieve this by continually training our staff on customer service, hand picking our preferred suppliers and dedicating time and expertise to the creation of our menus.” Barry tells us what differentiates the firm from its competitors and

helps mark itself out as the best possible option for clients. The fact that it caters to a diverse client base and an assortment of events all contribute to the overwhelming achievements of the company. “Important to our success, Arbutus at The Forum not only cater for customers in our restaurant, we also cater for all kinds of events in the city - from graduation celebrations to job fairs to weddings and everything in between. Our restaurant offers the best deals in the city and the relaxed atmosphere for lunch or dinner is a perfect getaway from the busy city.” Being based in Northern Ireland is beneficial for the company in a variety of ways, particularly in Derry, as Barry explains, noting the passion and culture of the location as ideal for Arbutus at The Forum.

“Northern Ireland, especially Derry has a culture passionate about food and where it comes from. We share that culture and believe the benefits are that everyone can enjoy locally produced food which is fresher and tastier.” Regarding the future of The Arbutus Catering Company, Barry talks about the future plans, including expanding and discussing some new offers coming around Christmas time. “Moving forward, we are always looking for additional properties to complement our current properties: Arbutus at The Forum in Derry/Londonderry and Arbutus at The Crannagh in Coleraine. Coming up to Christmas we’ll have a number of special deals and exciting competitions.”

Company: Arbutus at the Forum Email: Address: Newmarket Street, Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland, BT48 6EB, UK Phone: 02871 372492 Website:


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, Best Family-Run Painting & Decorating Company 2017

Classic Decorators Classic Decorators is a Belfast based painting and decorating firm committed to providing affordable services which meet their clients’ needs and exceed their expectations. We profile the firm to learn more and explore how it works to provide the very highest standards of service to its valued customers. Drawing on over 40 years’ experience in the painting and decorating industry, Classic Decorators supports both domestic and commercial clients across Northern Ireland, offering nothing but the very highest standards of service.

As a family run firm, Classic Decorators focuses on treating everyone, both staff and customers, like family, and offering them the very best support possible. Alongside traditional painting and decorating services, the firm can also offer clients newer, more fashionable services such as spraying.

Belfast is the ideal base for the company, as the city is booming, with new buildings being developed on a regular basis, providing consistent work for Classic Decorators. Operating in a small country such as Northern Ireland also offers the added benefit that the staff can simply drive to clients on the other side of the country in a day, allowing them to support everyone and provide them with their exceptionally high standards of service.

Thanks to the growth in the region and the ongoing expansion happening in Belfast, moving forward Classic Decorators will be seeking to expand and take on new staff in order to support a wider range of clients. On a mission to eventually decorate every home in Northern Ireland, the firm will continue to offer the high standards that they specialise in to ensure that it continues to build upon its current success.

Company: Classic Decorators Contact: John Montgomery Email: Address: 13 Cuan Parade, Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, BT13 3FE, UK Phone: 07711 808 422 Web Address:

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, Butchers of the Year 2017 - Belfast

Coffey’s Butchers Part of Armstrong Meats, Coffey’s Butchers is an award-winning supplier of quality meat, drawing on over 50 years’ experience in the industry. We invited Philip Armstrong to tell us more about the firm and the how it came to achieve the success it enjoys today.

Coffey’s High class Butchers are part of a family run business which includes two retail shops in Belfast under the Coffey’s brand, one at 380 Lisburn Road and one at 126b Upper Lisburn Road. Additionally, the firm operates trade shop and EC wholesale factory, built on the family farm in Castlereagh under the parent company’s name Armstrong Meats which supplies quality local produce to customers all over Ireland. Philip explains how the firm works to provide the very highest standards of service and top quality products to each and every one of its valued customers.

“Here at Coffey’s Butchers, we are absolutely delighted to have been awarded the title Butcher of the year 2017 for Belfast. We always strive to offer unrivalled levels of customer service and satisfaction and take great pride in ensuring that our customers receive only the finest quality meat and meat products from our shops and factory.

“Fundamentally, the reason behind our success is that we are one of the few butcher shops in Northern Ireland who stock a full range of game products, including venison, pheasant, rabbit and others when in season and we always try to ensure that we have some of the forgotten cuts in stock – ox tail, skirt steak and flat iron steak, to name a few.”

Looking ahead, Philip is keen to emphasise that the company will be working hard to ensure that it continues to offer clients the exemplary service which they have come to expect. “With Northern Ireland being a small country, word of mouth can make a big difference, and therefore at Coffey’s Butchers we do our best to make sure that only great things are said about us, and this will remain our aim as we look towards an exciting future.”

Company: Coffey’s Butchers Contact: Philip Armstrong Email: Address: 380 Lisburn Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT9 6GL, UK Phone: 028 9066 6292 Website:

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, Best Security System Design & Installation Contractor 2017

Envision Intelligent Solutions Ltd Envision Intelligent Solutions design, install, maintain and monitor a range of security products and services throughout the UK and Ireland. We invited Managing Director, Philip Murdock to tell us more about the firm and the innovative range of services it provides. Established in 2011, Envision provide security services to discerning clients for both corporate and private requirements. A trademark of the company is attention to detail, excellent quality of products and services, complete confidentiality and cost effectiveness, as Managing Director, Philip Murdock is eager to emphasise. “Envision stand out not only in the security sector, but also in

the world of business. We take a unique and innovative approach to provide our customers with increased security protection at a reduced cost. We achieve this largely through our technological advanced systems. Our vision is to see an increase of technology with the human resource. We provide an alternative to standard security measures such as CCTV and manned guarding, which are not necessarily effective, yet are expensive. Our remote monitoring system, ‘ReconEyez’, combined with our ARC (alarm

receiving centre) allows us to use technology to ensure the most effective, and highest standard of security and protection. “‘ReconEyez’ is a remote monitoring device which can be easily installed anywhere within minutes. Wireless and battery powered, ReconEyez provides high-tech, military standard monitoring at an affordable price. Unlike CCTV systems which constantly record footage, ReconEyez only records when movement is detected. The device takes a series of photos and transmits the information to the Envision ARC where controllers are alerted to the intrusion. They can then contact a response team or local police force when there is threat. This means intruders are recognised immediately, and crime is prevented. ‘ReconEyez’ is provided as a service package which includes design & install, maintenance and monitoring,

which is then charged to the customer through one simple pricing system.” Looking ahead, Envision have a bright future ahead thanks to its latest expansion, as Managing Director, Philip Murdock is proud to conclude. “Recently Envision are proud to have launched Envision USA after recently investing in operations in Boston. The team are working at closing major construction companies in the USA, and are offering a solution that until this point has not existed in that market place. All equipment and remote monitoring for the USA is provided from our Head office here in Craigavon, providing fantastic opportunities for international networking. This is an exciting development for our firm and we are excited for the opportunities that the future holds.”

Company: Envision Intelligent Solutions Ltd Email: Phone: 028 3834 7055 Website:

20 SME NEWS / Northern Ireland Business Awards 2017


, Best Coach Hire Company 2017

Patrick Gallagher Coaches Patrick Gallagher Coaches is a family- owned and managed business. We invited Evelyn Gallagher to tell us more about the company and what routes it offers. Established in 1972, Patrick Gallagher Coaches was formed when a taxi service was started in Gweedore and the surrounding area. About 14 years ago, Patrick Gallagher started his first service from Donegal to Belfast and ever since this service has grown. Evelyn explains what makes the coach company unique in some of the journeys it takes. “Patrick Gallagher Coaches is the only service that goes cross border from Donegal – Derry - Belfast every day. We would have quite a lot of students travelling with us every weekend from Queen’s University Belfast, Jordanstown and Magee College. “Additionally, the company runs a daily service to Derry operating twice a day. Although Patrick

Gallagher Coaches are probably best known for its services from Donegal - Derry –Belfast, we also carry out significant amounts of private charter, day trips and private tour work in Northern Ireland, working with some highly regarded companies.” Talking about how it feels to win this award, Evelyn comments on what she believes have made the company successful. The coaches are state-of-the-art, constantly being developed and made comfortable, ensuring a comfortable journey for customers. “It is an honour to have been nominated as Best Coach Hire Company 2017 by our loyal customers, and I believe the reason we were nominated was of our up to date Buses, the comfort and especially our customer service.”

Located in Northern Ireland, there are many benefits of being based in North West Donegal. The coaches travel across the country and customers know they will have a safe journey, without having to worry about the additional costs that come about from driving.

the Northern Ireland Smart Pass hence the influx of customers availing of free travel to Derry and Belfast.”

Aiming to build on its solid foundations, there are new routes in place for the firm, and with customers taking advantage of the economy, there looks to be an exciting future for Patrick Gallagher Coaches, as Evelyn concludes. “Looking ahead, the future is looking bright for Patrick Gallagher Coaches, having had additional routes sanctioned, and they will be in operation within a few months. Quite a lot of our customers are taking advantage of the sterling rate which is good for us. We also accept the Ireland Free Travel Card and

Company: Patrick Gallagher Coaches Contact: Evelyn Gallagher & Patrick Gallagher Email: Address: Brinalack, Gweedore, County Donegal, Ireland Phone: 00353 74 953 1107 Website:

SME NEWS / Northern Ireland Business Awards 2017 21


, Best Performance Art Theatre - Newtownabbey

Theatre at the Mill The Theatre at the Mill is a producing and receiving theatre with its own Youth Theatre based in Antrim, Northern Ireland. We profile the establishment to find out more. Offering a broad and eclectic programme it aims to offer an artistic offer distinctive from the other theatres in the region, the Theatre at the Mill attracts a range of visitors. The artistic programme includes: drama, ballet, contemporary dance, ‘live’ screenings from the Met New York and the Royal Shakespeare Company Stratford, Music, Musical Theatre and Comedy.

Over the past eight years the theatre has contributed significantly to the creative ecology in the region in providing valuable opportunities for employment to artists, directors, designers, music directors, musicians and performers in the form of its in-house professional productions and youth productions. As part of its work, the theatre has spearheaded training for young people in the Borough and beyond and has forged excellent relationships with the Guildford School of Acting, the leading Conservatoire for Musical Theatre.

Its work with young people provides valuable opportunities to work with world class artists on its major youth productions and, importantly, to gain knowledge and forge contacts in an industry they are passionate about. The theatre’s weekly Home Spun Youth Theatre allows students to gain confidence, have fun, and make friends. The transferable skills they develop serve students as they progress through their full-time education and in their future careers.

Ultimately, at the heart of the theatre’s success is the skills of a hard-working team of young gifted professionals who approach their work with a can-do attitude and with a will to succeed. The theatre is a creative space where challenges are viewed as an opportunity to learn. Looking ahead, established a loyal and appreciative following both front of house and back stage, future challenges for the Theatre at the Mill include continuing to engage with artists and companies across the Irish seas and to overcome the additional costs to allow them to share their work with theatres on the island of Ireland, as well as increasing annual attendance at all its productions and events, and to increase the number of events available. To achieve this aim, the theatre will aim to reach out to those areas of the community who do not currently engage with our work and to take work into the community they live, and work with them to create an innovative programme that meets their needs.

Company: Theatre at the Mill Contact: Jeanette McIntyre Email: Address: Antrim Civic Centre, 50 Stiles way, Antrim, Northern Ireland, BT41 2UB, UK Phone: 028 9034 0217

22 SME NEWS / Northern Ireland Business Awards 2017


, Best Family-Run Irish Restaurant - Ulster

The Old Thatch Inn The Old Thatch Inn is a family run business; it offers warmth and hospitality with its old stone walls and open fire. Anna Marie Mc Ferran talks us through what makes the venue a fascinating and attractive destination for clients. Established in 1832, the Old Thatch Inn is one of the oldest pub restaurants in Northern Ireland. Offering a unique traditional setting, visitors are attracted by the exquisite exterior, which is traditional but unique in the area, as its old Irish exterior is followed through into its interior, and is well maintained by a general maintenance team.

The Old Thatch Inn now has new and improved menus, to cater for everyone but still maintain the authenticity of the original traditional menu that its customers have come to love. Anna Marie explains what other changes the venue has made, highlighting its promotions and how it has begun to facilitate various types of events. “Additionally, we have added a selection of new gins and whiskeys to our already

extensive drinks list. We offer weekly drink promotions on wines, spirits and beers which we promote through our social media channels. “Situated of the main road between the City of Derry and Belfast, we are the prime meeting location for businesses. Of late, we have begun hosting conferences and holding business lunches/meetings for local and distant businesses. Within this year, we hosted the

very first wedding in The Old Thatch Inn, which was the first of many we are delighted to say. We provide live entertainment every weekend from FridaySunday, ranging from traditional music to live bands.” Since taking over, whilst continuing in his role as Head Chef, Ryan McGrath has restructured the business to include key personnel but also incorporating his main focus of including family and the local community. Anna Marie comments on what she believes helps the venue guarantee an excellent service, and what the future holds for the Old Thatch Inn. “Ensuring we always provide the best service, our staff regularly undertake training both in house and from external providers, with ten of our staff recently completing World Host Training in customer service. “Moving forward, we are currently working with Mid Ulster Council to incorporate what we have to offer at The Old Thatch Inn as a popular tourist attraction, and we are delighted to say we have already hosted 25 tours to date.”

Company: The Old Thatch Inn Contact: Anna Marie Mc Ferran Email: Address: 116 Hillhead Road, Castledawson, Magherafelt, Northern Ireland, BT45 8ET, UK Phone: 028 7946 8322 Website:

SME NEWS / Northern Ireland Business Awards 2017 23


, Most Influential Woman in Leadership Coaching 2017

Rapid Change Consultancy Rapid Change Consultancy is a boutique consultancy of professional and experienced coaches, dedicated to providing exceptional service to its clients. We invited Founder Anne Dargan to tell us more. Founded by Anne after a 25-year career as a business change leader and internal coach/ consultant, Rapid Change Consultancy has since flourished, drawing on the expertise Anne acquired during her previous role to ensure excellence for clients. The consultancy

provides people centric services such as leadership/executive coaching, consultancy on change management and leadership development to support individual, team and organisational effectiveness. Thanks to Anne’s background working for a global telecommunications firm, her

consultancy specialises in supporting IT, engineering, law, accountancy firms, and financial services firms. Whatever sector they are based in, Anne and her team work hard to ensure that they have the tools to achieve a real, positive change, as she highlights.

would enable their teams and employees to come to work with a spring in their step thanks to our innovative techniques. Our flagship product is for leaders who want to get the best from their team, and we also offer an innovative, women only leadership programme.”

“At Rapid Change Consultancy, we believe that our role is to support our clients to enjoy fulfilment in both their personal and professional lives. Unfortunately, some surveys tell us that up to 87% of people go to jobs they hate.

Overall, coaching is a growing business worldwide, as the latest reports show that a third of the Fortune 500 are coaching their leaders and executives. As such, Anne and her team have a bright and exciting future ahead as they seek to build upon their current success and make Rapid Change Consultancy the go-to consultancy for business leaders, as she proudly concludes.

“Drawing on my own personal experience, I hope to change this, by supporting leaders to become the best version of themselves and equipping them with the skills and know how to engage and empower their people, and helping them align their teams. Leaders themselves find work less stressful and more rewarding and in turn they

“Looking ahead, we are keen to continue promoting our services and work with even more clients to ensure that future generations continue to feel the positive impact of our work.”

Company: Rapid Change Consultancy Contact: Anne Dargan Email: Address: 130 Ballynahinch Road, Dromore, Co. Down, Northern Ireland, BT25 1EA, UK Phone: 028 9269 3194 Website:

24 SME NEWS / Northern Ireland Business Awards 2017


, Best Multi-Disciplinary Graphic Design Agency 2017

Oasis Design Studio Oasis Design Studio is a graphic design agency based in Larne, Northern Ireland. Trevor Robinson explains what makes the company successful and what services it offers to clients. At Oasis, the team works together cohesively to serve its customers and clients. The breadth of its client base is matched to the wide range of services it offers. Trevor tells us about the firm’s overall mission, as well as discussing what helps the

company to stand out within the industry. “Oasis achieves brilliant design through collaboration and by empowering individual team members. This can look different for each project but often involves a feedback loop between the design team to

make sure that the design looks and works well. With a breadth of design services and multitalented creatives, we can adapt quickly and serve clients in a more flexible manner. We care about what we do and that reflects in the fact that we do not have a high turnover of clients.” What has certainly benefitted Oasis, is operating within NI as Trevor alludes to, noting the range of services and companies it offers. He goes on discuss the foundations of the company, which are ingrained in the culture of staff. “Being based in NI has encouraged us to broaden our horizons and find work in mainland UK, Republic of Ireland and further afield in the US. We foster a friendly working relationship with our clients and often try to go the extra mile.

and work trips are all integrated into our office culture.” Regarding the future, Trevor comments on how Brexit will have an impact on the industries with NI. Trevor foresees exciting times for Oasis, with investment increasing, and more and more companies showing an interest in working with Northern Irish companies, mentioning how NI has become more powerful as a country. “Moving forward, the Brexit shift is probably going to be a crucial change for NI as we will be the only part of the UK that has a land border with an EU country. With one of our main political parties now in coalition in the British parliament, our country is probably in the most powerful position it has ever been in.”

“Founded as a family company with Christian principles, we put customer satisfaction and staff empowerment at the top of our priority list. That means staff training, team building, office fun

Company: Oasis Design Studio Contact: Trevor Robinson Email: Address: A3 Ash Building, Willowbank Business Park, Larne, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland, BT40 2SF, UK Phone: 02828 27 8201 Website:

SME NEWS / Northern Ireland Business Awards 2017 25


, Best Golf Course & Dining Venue - Belfast

Rockmount Golf Club Rockmount Golf Club is a parkland designed championship course located to the south of Belfast City centre. We profile the establishment to learn more. The Rockmount dream began in the early 90’s when Robert and Diane Patterson decided to turn part of their farmland near Carryduff into an eighteenhole championship standard golf course which would include a modern clubhouse with a top quality restaurant and bar facilities.

The course officially opened on Monday 8th May 1995 when European Ryder Cup player Darren Clarke performed the opening ceremony, and since then the club has flourished, incorporating a restaurant where guests can enjoy delicious meals.

The establishment’s restaurant menus offer classic dishes using fresh, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients as far as possible. Incorporating these great local produces at a reasonable price, the restaurant is a great choice for those looking to relax after a hard day’s golfing. A New Early Bird Menu is now available enjoy a main course and dessert for only £14.00 Wednesday - Saturday from 3pm and Sunday from 5pm.

Alongside the restaurant, since inception Rockmount Enterprises Limited have continually added to and improved both the course and the clubhouse. On the course, more bunkers and water hazards together with hundreds of trees, some of which are mature, have been introduced to make the course a real test of golf. Overall, at Rockmount everyone is welcome and events such as weddings, christening, birthday parties and conferences are very popular. Membership is currently open and Rockmount prides itself in providing a top-quality golf course all year round. A firstclass management team is in place to ensure your enjoyment whether it is golfing or just socialising.

Company: ROCKMOUNT GOLF CLUB Email: Address: 28 Drumalig Road, Carryduff, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT8 8EQ, UK Phone: 44 28 9081 2279 Website:

26 SME NEWS / Northern Ireland Business Awards 2017

Patrick Gallagher Coaches Patrick Gallagher Coaches is a family - owned and managed business. The business origins go back to 1972 when Patrick Gallagher returned from Scotland and started up a taxi service in his native Gweedore and surrounding areas.

Donegal – Belfast –Donegal Donegal-Derry-Donegal About 14 years ago Patrick started his first service from Donegal to Belfast and ever since this service has grown. Patrick Gallagher Coaches is the only service that goes cross border from Donegal- Derry- Belfast everyday. Although Patrick Gallagher Coaches are probably best known for its’ service’s work from DonegalDerry –Belfast, we also carry out significant amounts of private charter, day trips and private tour work in Northern Ireland. We have worked with companies including Travel Ireland and Belfast Bus Company naming but a few.

Patrick Gallagher Coaches Best Coach Hire Company 2017 Tel: 087 2330888/ 087 2245848

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N Ireland Business awards 2017  
N Ireland Business awards 2017