Portadown-based firm, 'The Deluxe Group' secures $40m in USA contracts while investing £1.5m in expanding locally creating 30 new jobs
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At the helm of The Deluxe Group is Armagh man Colm O’Farrell, Executive Chairman, and the son of Colm O’Farrell (Sr.), now retired, who set the company up in 1969.
The firm considers itself one of NI’s best-kept secrets and has catapulted the area onto the worldwide stage for first-class ‘experience’ products and interior fit-out projects for the themed entertainment sector.
The company specialises in upmarket interior fit-outs for the for the hospitality, residential, cruise and theme park sectors. It is also investing more than £1.5m in an ambitious expansion plan.
The investment includes an additional base in Antrim and new facilities in Portadown, which will increase its workshop capacity by over 100% and see it create 30 new jobs, both of which will accommodate its new contracts for theme parks and other immersive experiences around the world.
Colm O’Farrell said: “We have seen solid growth within our bespoke joinery division over the last five years, completing prestigious projects such as the luxury hotel Great Scotland Yard and opulent branded residences including The Old War Office in London, but the growth of the emerging experience economy is driving unprecedented international demand for our specialist skills in design and prefabrication of themed attractions.
“Northern Ireland has gained an international reputation for film and TV production but people might be surprised that some of the world’s most exciting attractions are being built here. We have learned over the years how best to tell a story through authentic interiors, whether it’s an iconic movie or whiskey brand brought to life or reimagining a historic building as a hotel or residence.”
Invest NI has supported the Deluxe Group to grow and Steve Harper, Invest NI’s Executive Director of International Business said: “Winning new export business of this scale takes vision and investment in new product development. The Deluxe Group’s innovative approach to developing solutions for the global creative industries sector is supporting this vision and enabling it to grow its reputation globally and significantly expand its export markets.
“Our support over the years has helped it to grow its team, market its products globally and our inmarket team in the US has provided it with invaluable advice and guidance to secure major growth in the US market. We are delighted to have played our part in supporting Deluxe to win such prestigious contracts and be a world leader in its field.”
It is a little known fact that The Deluxe Group is well versed in imaginative and revolutionary interiors for the experience sector, having recently completed high-profile projects including sets and attractions for the Game of Thrones Studio Tour at Linen Mill Studios, Banbridge, Hotel Transylvania and Ghostbusters in Dubai, Jurassic World in Orlando and Mario Kart, an augmented reality giant-size version of the computer game at Super Nintendo World in Japan as well as the world-famous Remy's Ratatouille Adventure dark ride at Disneyland Paris.
To accommodate this influx of top-tier orders, The Deluxe Group has opened a new 40,000 sq ft manufacturing facility adjacent to Belfast International Airport with in-house composites fabrication, set-building and state-of-the-art finishing facilities.
Extensive demand from the United States will also see The Deluxe Group open a new facility in Orlando, Florida - the leading themed entertainment destination - so it can fulfil this influx of trans-Atlantic orders and seize long-term opportunity in the US market.
The company is also developing its first product for home entertainment. Pub Óg, a miniature Irish Pub crafted by the firm’s artisans for an authentic interior, finish and feel, is destined for the US home and commercial hospitality market.
The Deluxe Group’s team has grown to 180 staff, and working in partnership with local colleges and universities, the company has invested in an apprenticeship academy and graduate scheme to ensure the pipeline of talent here is work-ready and in sync with the demand for its projects across all sectors it services.