Deluxe Group director Colm Connolly (left) with fellow director Colm O’Farrell and executive chairman Richard Hill. Photograph: Kelvin Boyles

Portadown theme park specialists Deluxe Group to create 30 new jobs

A Co Armagh business which specialises in upmarket interior fit-outs for the hospitality, residential, cruise and theme park sectors has reported more than $40m of export contracts with US clients.

The Deluxe Group, which has been operating for more than 50 years in Portadown, also revealed it is investing more than £1.5m in an expansion plan.

The investment includes an additional base in Antrim and new facilities in Portadown, which will increase its workshop capacity by more than 100 per cent and lead to the creation of 30 jobs, both of which will accommodate its new contracts for theme parks and other immersive experiences around the world.

Colm O’Farrell, executive chairman atThe Deluxe Group, said: “We have seen solid growth within our bespoke joinery division over the last five years, completing prestigious projects such as the luxury hotel Great Scotland Yard and opulent branded residences including The Old War Office in London, but the growth of the emerging experience economy is driving unprecedented international demand for our specialist skills in design and prefabrication of themed attractions.

“Northern Ireland has gained an international reputation for film and TV production but people might be surprised that some of the world’s most exciting attractions are being built here. We have learned over the years how best to tell a story through authentic interiors, whether it’s an iconic movie or whiskey brand brought to life or reimagining a historic building as a hotel or residence.”

Invest Northern Ireland has supported the Deluxe Group to grow over the last number of years.

Steve Harper, Invest NI’s executive director of international business, said: “Winning new export business of this scale takes vision and investment in new product development.

“The Deluxe Group’s innovative approach to developing solutions for the global creative industries sector is supporting this vision and enabling it to grow its reputation globally and significantly expand its export markets.”

The Deluxe Group is well versed in interiors for the experience sector, having recently completed high-profile projects including sets and attractions for the Game of Thrones Studio Tour at Linen Mill Studios, Banbridge, Hotel Transylvania and Ghostbusters in Dubai, Jurassic World in Orlando and Mario Kart, an augmented reality giant-size version of the computer game at Super Nintendo World in Japan as well as the Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure dark ride at Disneyland Paris.

To accommodate this influx of top-tier orders, The Deluxe Group has opened a new 40,000 sq ft manufacturing facility adjacent to Belfast International Airport with in-house composites fabrication, set-building and state-of-the-art finishing facilities.

Extensive demand from the United States will also see The Deluxe Group open a new facility in Orlando, Florida so it can fulfil this influx of trans-Atlantic orders and seize long-term opportunity in the US market.

The company is also developing its first product for home entertainment. Pub Óg, a miniature Irish Pub crafted by The Deluxe Group’s artisans for an authentic interior, finish and feel, is destined for the US home and commercial hospitality market.

Main image: Deluxe Group director Colm Connolly (left) with fellow director Colm O’Farrell and executive chairman Richard Hill. Photograph: Kelvin Boyles