Northern Ireland-based brassware manufacturer Aqualla has set up a new research and development department as it steps up its push into the English market.
Heading up the newly-formed R&D department is Trevor Reith, who joined the company this February. He is supported by a dedicated technical support team comprising new recruit Kevan Savage and existing team member Patrick Murray.
Reith (pictured above on far left next to MD Steven Allaway and Kevan Savage, far right) has extensive engineering experience and a background in manufacturing, while Savage is a fully qualified plumbing and heating engineer.
The R&D team will work closely with marketing manager Julianna Andrews to further enhance the company’s reputation in the industry.
The new R&D team is housed in Aqualla’s 21,000sq ft facility in Newtonards, County Down, which has pressure and flow rate testing on-site.
Said managing director Steven Allaway: “Product development has been vital in the growth of the company and this investment is a major step forward for Aqualla.
“These appointments will allow us to launch new products. We have always listened to the views of both end-users and installers when developing our products and that will take on added importance with the appointments of Trevor, Kevan and Julianna.”
Commenting on the move, Reith added: “With the recent formation of the R&D department this means the Aqualla can continually evolve the growing product portfolio with new and innovative products based on market and customer feedback.
“For me, I aim to facilitate all our new products from concept through to launch and keep Aqualla customers happy with the quality and range of products we can offer.”
Aqualla is pushing ahead with its ambitious plans to expand its sales in the UK and to this end appointed Pete Mersh as UK sales director at the end of last year. This July, Mike Kidd joined the team as regional sales manager for the South-East of the UK.
Mersh and Kidd join Padraig Carter, area sales manager for Ireland, director and co-founder Noel Daly, and Stuart Latimer, area sales manager for Northern Ireland.
When kbbreview spoke to Daly in December last year, he said the company was “excited” to be introducing the brand to England and said he believed there was space for a “customer-centric” mid-to-upper segment brand.
Allaway updated us on the company’s progress: “We have exceeded our expectations in the UK and have taken on 85 retailers in the North of England. And our new regional sales manager for the South-East, Mike Kidd, has already signed up 35 more. What is helping us is our USP of supporting bricks-and-mortar retailers with a strict no-online policy. Retailers are supporting us and investing in displays in their showrooms, so we are supporting them by not being online.”