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Construction firm in expansion drive

A BELFAST construction company with 130 years in the business is expanding despite the difficulties being faced by the construction industry.

Colinwell Concrete Ltd is opening of a new walling and paving centre for the public at its premises on Colinglen Road in the city.

The company was started by Belfast farmer, John McQuillan in the late 1880s and is now run by his great grandsons, Phelim and Donal McQuillan, who employ 18 people.

John's son Gerard and grandson Hugh began quarrying the limestone and basalt stone from the foot of Colin Mountain to produce aggregates for road construction and the manufacture of concrete blocks.

Today, Colinwell has contributed to the building of landmark structures in Northern Ireland. The new facility will open its doors to the public on April 18 and marks the firm's first move into the domestic gardening market.

The company makes architectural masonry, stone walling, bricks and landscaping materials for use across Ireland and Britain.

Joint managing director, Phelim McQuillan said that the firm's products had previously only been available to trade customers.

"Our business has a great history, and it's something we hope to build on by continuing to come up with innovative ways to expand in this time of recession," he said.