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Family-owned Londonderry cabin company builds on success

By Yvette Shapiro

A Londonderry company is embarking on a major expansion thanks to the growing popularity of log cabins for holidays and long-term residential use. Oakgrove Cabins, a family-owned firm based at Maydown Industrial Estate, is to invest almost £900,000 and create 15 new jobs over the next two years as part of plans to boost its sales in Great Britain.

The company - set up by the Flanagan family in 1998 - designs and manufactures a range of timber cabins used in holiday and residential parks across the UK.

The cabins are made by hand using Scandinavian red wood timber and feature a pitched, lightweight metal tile roof and PVC double glazing windows and doors. They're fitted out to customers' specifications.

Wooden homes are much cheaper to construct than traditional buildings, have low heating and general running costs and are easy to relocate.

These factors have attracted people, particularly retirees, who want to live in them all year round, and they're an increasingly popular option for family holidays.

Managing director Noel Flanagan said: "The company has had a real marketing drive over the past two years and has now positioned itself to supply some of the main park operators in the UK.

"We see significant growth potential in the Great Britain leisure lodge market over the next few years and want to position ourselves to compete successfully for this new business.

"We recently secured contracts that have enabled us to increase our workforce.

"The company has grown from four employees to currently employing a workforce of 35."

Invest NI has offered Oakgrove £94,740 towards its investment.

"Working with Invest NI has enabled us to proceed quickly with implementing our marketing strategy and recruiting additional staff needed to meet the expected increase in sales," said Mr Flanagan.

"Over the coming months we will be focused on attending exhibitions and trade shows and aiming to turn the leads we generate into actual sales."

On a visit to the company's Maydown factory, Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell said: "Oakgrove Cabins is an enterprising family business focused on maximising its sales outside Northern Ireland.

"The creation of 15 new jobs, supported by Invest NI, enables the business to deliver to an increasing order book and contributes around £300,000 annually in additional salaries to the local economy.

"Oakgrove Cabins is a unique manufacturing business and its commitment to growth is positive news for the sector and for the local area."

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