Carrickfergus company’s ‘inspirational’ recovery following devastating blaze

A Carrickfergus upholstery firm devastated by fire earlier this year has emerged stronger and is confident of returning to its main base next summer.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 11:12 am

Abbey Upholsterers provided the update when the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr William McCaughey and Graham Whitehurst MBE, chair of the council’s Manufacturing Task Force, recently visited the company’s temporary premises in Kilroot Business Park.

George Devlin Jnr, finance director and Judith Neill, commercial director, explained how the family-run business has been recovering following the devastating fire at its Trooperslane Industrial Estate site in April. Click here The company, which employs around 100 people, had to act quickly to ensure that the quality work it undertakes can continue and that customer orders are fulfilled.

Mr Devlin said: “We were delighted to welcome the Mayor and Graham to our temporary facilities to show them how we have been operating following the fire.

The Mayor, Cllr William McCaughey; George Devlin, Abbey Upholsterers; Graeme Whitehurst, chair of the Manufacturing Taskforce and Judith Neill, Abbey Upholsterers.

“As a family business we have built a strong reputation for outstanding quality, we had to ensure we maintain this trust as we navigated our way through the devastation caused by the fire.

“We have managed to maintain our customer and staff confidence. We will continue our efforts to grow the business, as we look to return to our main site next year.”

Abbey Upholsterers has also continued to support young people in the area by taking on a number of joinery and upholstery apprentices.

The apprentices will have the opportunity to work on furniture destined for some of the most luxurious hotels and sporting venues across the UK including Claridge’s Hotel in Mayfair, London, Royal Ascot, London Stadium and leading luxury retailers Harrod’s and Fortnum & Maison.

The Mayor said: “I was delighted to visit Abbey Upholsterers and witness first hand this fantastic company in action.

“What they have come through in the last six months is every businesses’ worst nightmare and to come out the other side stronger, whilst still ensuring that they provide opportunities to young people in our community is a testament to the family leadership of this business.

“It is no surprise that they won the UK Family Business of the Year last year.”

The company hope to return to its original site in the middle of 2022.


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