Cunningham Covers Ltd in Maghera has gained one of the UK’s most prestigious awards for enterprise especially in terms of its achievements in global markets.
The company has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its successful design, manufacture and marketing of an extensive range of clever protective covers for safeguarding valuable assets in sectors such as transportation, farming, manufacturing, aviation, oil and gas production and education.
Cunningham Covers specialises in the design and manufacture of custom textile covers for haulage operators as well as other protective covers for industry.
Cunningham Covers was founded initially to supply the needs of a local trailer manufacturer for tarpaulin covers in 1969 by the current chairman Gordon Cunningham. He identified an opportunity to manufacture and supply tarpaulin vehicle curtains initially to local hauliers and then outside Northern Ireland.
The family owned and managed business has since won customers for their transport products in the Middle East and Europe.
This business, as well as the development and manufacture of protective covers for pipelines in Russia and innovative enclosures for oil drilling operations in the middle east and Africa, led to the Queen’s Award for International Trade.
The provision of bespoke curtainsides remains an important part of the business particularly in Northern Ireland, Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.
While the Queen’s Award is in the International Trade category and recognises its achievements in almost 20 global markets, Cunningham Covers remains strongly committed to the Northern Ireland marketplace.
“While we are delighted to have won such important recognition for our sales especially to markets such as Europe, the Middle East and Africa, our success remains deeply rooted in Northern Ireland,” says David Cunningham, Managing Director of Cunningham Covers.
“The Northern Ireland market remains immensely important to us. We value greatly our customer base here and are committed to respond quickly and effectively to existing and potential customers in this market. We also see opportunities to expand our products world-wide” he adds.
“The Queen’s Award recognises the skills and loyalty of our employees. We’ve focused resources on developing the skills of employees and in encouraging them to build careers within the business. As a result, we have a dedicated and versatile workforce which enables us to respond quickly to opportunities both here and abroad,” he adds.
The company gained the Queen’s Award for outstanding year-on-year growth in overseas sales in the three years to August 2016. Exports now represent over 50 percent of total sales, having grown from 29 percent six years ago
The company has invested continuously in innovation and has diversified from vehicle tarpaulins to provide a broad range of products for various applications, including enclosures for safety, oil and gas and aerospace, for its expertise.