Source: Northern Ireland – City of Derry
12 November 2020
A local company is reaping the benefits of being part of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Business Boost scheme.
Cheswick Kitchen Company, based in Campsie, specialises in bespoke handcrafted kitchens and furniture, and is one of a number of companies within the Derry City and Strabane District Council area that have signed up for the Business Boost online programme and is already seeing the benefits of being part of the scheme.
Since signing up, the company has strengthened their management and planning functions through the appointment of an office manager as part of its senior team. The company has also worked closely with a business mentor to support the management team to build their management capacity and develop positive business strategies and partnerships.
Sean O’Kane, company owner, says the Council’s Business Boost scheme has been hugely beneficial to the company. It has assisted him to develop a new business plan for 2020-21 and look at new management systems to deliver it.
As a result of participating in the programme the company has been able to secure grant assistance from Invest NI including an employment grant for four additional staff to assist with company growth and a further development grant to assist with product development and marketing.
Sean says: “The Business Boost scheme has provided us with so much help and support to bring our business into a new era. Not only have we been able to develop a business strategy, but it has allowed us to develop a company profile, increase our turnover and profitability as well as look at new and more effective ways to do business and get our products out there.”
Cheswick Kitchen Company evolved from Campsie Pine, which was set up by Sean’s father in 1986. It started out from a small garage in Campsie and has expanded over the years to continue to create bespoke, high-quality kitchen and furniture from sustainably-sourced hardwood.
Tara Nicholas, Business Support officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council, says Cheswick Kitchen Company is just one of many success stories from the scheme. She acknowledged the commitment of the company to embrace new ways of working and to rebrand and promote their unique offering.
“We are delighted to hear that Cheswick Kitchen Company has increased its capacity for direct sales across the island of Ireland and that their sales for the current financial year are expected to increase. This is particularly significant when you consider we had a two month lockdown period and are dealing with a worldwide pandemic.”
Sean O’Kane says he is looking forward to continue working with the Business Boost team at the Council through its Get Your Business Online programme to increase their social media engagement and to drive customers to their new website.
“Despite the current COVID situation and the uncertainty that exists out there for many businesses, we are striving ahead as best we can to develop our products and step up our efforts to get our message out to the public. The Business Boost scheme has really helped us do that and we are really seeing the benefits. I would encourage all businesses in the Council area that can avail of this support to do so.”
The Business Boost business support programme was provided by Derry City and Strabane District Council in partnership with Invest NI and Full Circle NI. It is part-funded by Invest NI and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment Growth and Jobs NI 2014-2020 programme.