Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland garden centre firm on UK list of inspirational businesses

By Margaret Canning

A family-run garden centre is among 13 Northern Ireland companies named in a list of inspirational UK firms. Creative Gardens (NI), which has branches in Donaghadee, Bushmills and Galgorm, is owned by the Gass family and is listed today in the London Stock Exchange Group's 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain.

It is joined in the line-up of dynamic businesses by other Northern Ireland names such as mobility lifts specialist Pollock Lifts in Carrickfergus and recycling company Natural World Products, based in Dunmurry.

Creative Gardens (NI) is run by brothers Oliver and Philip Gass and their sister, Jenny Dumigan. It was set up by their mother, Diana, 30 years ago, starting out with one garden centre in Donaghadee.

Another followed in Bushmills, Co Antrim, before the family invested £2m in 2014 in the launch of a third centre in the grounds of Galgorm Castle and Estate outside Ballymena.

The firm noted annual sales of £6.6m in its most recent results.

Pollock Lifts was mentioned in the list for its track record in delivering "state-of-the-art lifts with the highest standards of access with comfort and safety".

Natural World Products, meanwhile, was praised for its work in waste management for councils and businesses across Northern Ireland.

Xavier Rolet, chief executive of London Stock Exchange Group, said the report highlighted "the dynamic, entrepreneurial and ambitious businesses across the country that are boosting UK productivity, driving economic growth and creating jobs".

Mr Rolet added: "The strength and diversity of these companies is readily apparent with a broad mix of UK regions and sectors represented."

The other companies from Northern Ireland in chart include food firms Finnebrogue Artisan and Elmgrove Foods, kitchen designer Uform, Modern Tyres and financial software firm First Derivatives.

The businesses rub shoulders on the list with UK household names including retailer Oliver Bonas and trendy tonic brand Fever Tree.

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