A Northern Ireland manufacturer at the forefront of the fightback in tackling coronavirus is building a new hub to expand its production of crucial protective gear, Ulster Business can reveal.
Bloc Blinds is now planning to create a new manufacturing, production and distribution hub close to its headquarters in Magherafelt, Co Londonderry, PPE (personal protective equipment) and blinds.
The firm was one of the key businesses to retool and begin producing PPE to help frontline health workers in tackling the Covid-19 crisis head on.
Bloc Blinds has grown from its humble beginnings in Draperstown to become one of the UK’s leading designers and manufacturers of innovative blinds and skylight systems.
The company has seen a 40% rise in turnover in recent years, and announced a significant manufacturing milestone in 2018, with the business producing its one millionth blind.
The new plans for the manufacturing site have been submitted by the firm's founder, Cormac Diamond, as part of a proposal of notice, ahead of a full planning application.
Following the creation of a prototype, the company repurposed its production line and was able to produce 22,000 FaceShields each day.
Just a few days after the crisis began, more than 40 companies volunteered to assist in providing support to produce various PPE requirements.