Trade Mouldings has warned the Bank of England of the detrimental effects on businesses in Northern Ireland that could be caused by a hard Brexit.
The Cookstown-based wrapped mouldings and vinyl wrapped cabinet doors manufacturer hosted a visit from the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Dr Ben Broadbent, to discuss current trade conditions.
It explained how Brexit is shaping the company’s decision-making process, investment levels and business growth.
Trade Mouldings’ sales director Damien Connolly said: “Our business is currently experiencing double-digit growth, with 85% of sales outside of Northern Ireland. Our export markets are mainly on the mainland UK and in the Republic of Ireland (ROI), however our contracts span as far afield as The Middle East and Central America.
“We have a global supply chain, throughout Europe and the Far East, so a hard Brexit would be detrimental to business if it results in restrictions in regulations and an increase in tariffs.
“Like all NI manufacturing companies relying on export we advised that we want to see minimal barriers to trade, so that the market keeps growing. Because Northern Ireland is the only region in the UK to share a land border with the EU we voiced our concerns about the re-implementation of restrictive customs controls that have existed in the past, restrictions to and the cost of market access and we are anxious about the movement of people, as our headcount includes employees from a range of European countries.”
He added: “The ROI market has finally bounced back with lots of demand for housing stock in both Ireland and the UK. These houses all need fitted kitchens and with the contract market being a substantial percentage of what we do, business should be good for the next few years.”
Trade Mouldings’ managing director Conor McOscar said: “We were delighted to welcome Dr Broadbent to discuss our trade concerns and share with him the significant investments we’ve made recently across our three sites here in Cookstown, Dublin and Manchester in the run up to our 35th anniversary.
“Trade Mouldings is a second-generation family business started by Kevin McOscar in 1982 and is now a considerable player in the Mid Ulster economy.
“We employ 150 people and operate from a 10-acre site, with 200,000ft of manufacturing space in Cookstown, and our company now makes in excess of 30,000 doors and 75,000 linear metres of wrapped mouldings per week,” he added.
Austin McOscar, Trade Mouldings’ production director, commented: “Last summer we invested £1 million in our Cookstown facility, adding new machinery in order to increase our capacity, and earlier this year we invested an additional million pounds on new stock lines. We have distribution sites in Manchester to service the UK market and a new €1.5m state of the art Dublin depot, to service the ROI market.”
- Pictured left to right outside Trade Mouldings’ Cookstown factory: Frances Hill, Bank of England agent for Northern Ireland; Damien Connolly, sales director, Trade Mouldings; Dr Ben Broadbent, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England; Conor MacOscar, managing director, Trade Mouldings; and Gillian Anderson, Bank of England deputy agent for Northern Ireland