Belfast Telegraph

Success comes to Soon thanks to €1m Swedish Icon contract

By Margaret Canning

A Northern Ireland interior design firm has defied the downturn at home with a €1m contract in Sweden.

Soon, based in Waring Street in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, will fit out the Stockholm offices of Irish company Icon Clinical Research, after successfully tendering for the work.

Michael Hughes, an interior designer and director of the firm, said: “Working in Sweden will be great for us. In fact, about 70% to 80% of our work is now outside Northern Ireland.”

The Swedish deal is the latest good news for the company, which last month swept the board at |the Institute of Designers Awards in Dublin.

It won an overall category award for its transformation of the interior of Flemings, a butchers in Dundrum in south Dublin, was highly commended for its work on the lobby of Bezier Apartments, an upmarket development in London, and, closer to home, was commended for its work on Cathedral Quarter bar 21 Social —the new incarnation of the premises which once housed The Potthouse.

Mr Hughes said the firm had to be pro-active to overcome the challenges the recession presents for interior designers, architects and other professions dependent on construction.

“When the recession came we had to look for work in London and the Isle of Man. We aren’t over the downturn, but we are confident we can build on the awards and achieve more.”

Belfast Telegraph