Setanta invests in R&D to win over £1m of contracts in GB and France

Invest Northern Ireland Press Article 27th October 2020

Pictured (L-R) are Vicky Kell, Director of Innovation, Research & Development, Invest Northern Ireland with Mark Gribbin, Director of Setanta. 

Magherafelt based construction firm, Setanta Construction has won lucrative new contracts in GB and France following investment in Research & Development.

The SME, which specialises in the design, manufacture and construction of a wide range of timber frame homes, is also to create 12 new jobs at its Magherafelt workshop.

Congratulating the company, Dr Vicky Kell, Invest Northern Ireland’s Director of Innovation, Research & Development said: “Setanta is already well established in the Northern Ireland market and recognised that in order to increase export sales, it needed to develop new solutions by investing in R&D.

“Our R&D support has assisted the company to develop a unique new off-site solution, a dormer window system.  The dormer windows are fully manufactured and assembled in its workshop, transported fully built to site, and bolted into the main structure of a building. This has reduced the company’s time spent on site from weeks to hours, reducing cost and has significantly increased Setanta’s productivity.

“Investing in R&D to develop such an innovative product has provided a unique competitive advantage for Setanta and has enabled the company to win significant contracts, most recently in Great Britain with Claridges Hotel in London and in France with Chateau la Coste. Due to the uplift in business, we are also supporting Setanta to welcome 12 new staff to its team to help keep up with demand. The company is an excellent example of recognising the importance of investing in R&D to maintain a competitive business beyond COVID-19, helping to build resilience and grow.”

Invest NI has offered Setanta £138,000 of support towards R&D and job creation. Roles on offer include managerial and technical roles.

Mark Gribbin, Director of Setanta said: “Following great success in the Northern Ireland market in recent years, we knew that we could go even further and grow our business in GB and Europe. We identified a niche in the construction market and through Invest NI’s R&D support, we have developed a new large construction components design, which enables us to construct the components in Magherafelt, and then deliver and install them on site. It may seem simple to many but our customers are delighted as it enables us to move on and off site quickly and can aid in the construction of a building very quickly. 

“Our new offsite manufacturing process is elevating us to work on projects with high credentials. Following our success with Claridges Hotel in London, our most recent project in France was designed by one of the world’s leading architects, Richard Rogers Architecture, who has worked on projects including the George Pompidou centre in Paris and the Lloyds building in London.  Interestingly, we were able to organise and win our most recent deals in France using Zoom and hope to do more of this in the future. Word is spreading quickly and we notice a marked increase with enquiries for our services and look forward to recruiting and welcoming new staff to our team.”

Invest NI’s R&D support is part funded by ERDF under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.

A big thank you to Invest Northern Ireland for this opportunity and for all their support. 

Mark & Niall Gribbin

Directors of Setanta Construction