Booming restaurant chain Made in Belfast is set to open its fourth destination outlet on the city’s Lisburn Road.
The £200,000 investment will create 20 jobs and is the latest in Made in Belfast’s commitment to growth.
Taking over the site previously occupied by La Bastille Made in South Belfast it comes just over 10 years since managing director Emma Bricknell opened her first restaurant in the city, Made In Belfast in Wellington Place.
With already more than 90 jobs created in the Wellington Place restaurant and the two Cathedral Quarter outlets, this new venture represents Emma’s faith in the city.
“Despite the political impasse the people of Belfast show remarkable resilience,” she said. “We see that people want a unique destination to dine and relax.
“We serve more than 180,000 meals per year and I believe Made in South Belfast will open up more possibilities for quality dining in our quirky interiors.
“South Belfast is an area we are excited to be part of. It’s very much a community with its own quirks and we are looking forward to the challenges and all the new faces we will be serving and getting to know.
“For me, the Lisburn Road is the King’s Road of Belfast and we can’t wait to add to the dining experience of locals and those visiting the area.”
The investment on the Lisburn Road will bring Made in Belfast commitment to the city top the £1m mark and will throw open its doors this coming summer.
And, Emma doesn’t intend to stop there; she has plans for further expansion in Belfast and beyond.
Following the opening of Made in Belfast at Wellington Place the first Cathedral Quarter restaurant in Talbot Street was opened in 2010 with the second restaurant in the area The Grill Made In Belfast in Hill Street opening in 2013.
With around 25 years’ experience in hospitality and business management, Emma led Made in Belfast through a series of challenges – recession, flag protests, and Christmas bomb threats, and credits their success to having a great team.
With Made in South Belfast Emma aims to strategically grow the company in a healthy and happy way for all staff over the next three to five years.
While Emma is keen to keep up with the latest industry trends, the original ethos of the business was always to deal with producers whose level of animal husbandry was very high, and whose produce was the best of quality, local where possible, and ethically and environmentally sourced.
“Sustainability is one of the intrinsic values of the business and forms the core of everything we do in our restaurants” she said.
In 2017 executive chef Stephen Loftus became a share-holding director after six years with the company.
The operations and business director said he was proud to be involved with the company’s expansion plans.
He added: “It’s a great time to start to expand, there’s a real buzz about the city at the moment and I’m delighted we can be part of that expansion.
“We have a fantastic team behind us who are working hard to help the business grow. Our people are the core of our business and I think that’s lead a lot of our success. The future is looking bright.”
Committed to local, seasonal produce, Stephen regularly spends time with local farmers and producers.
Made in Belfast’s clientele ranges from groups of students, tourists and professionals to couples and families, young and old. This diversity is reflected in the accolades awarded to the company, which include Northern Ireland’s most Sustainable Restaurant and Most Gay Friendly Restaurant at the Goscars.
Made in Belfast is also a favourite with well-known names due to their ‘no bragging’ policy. Customers are free to enjoy their food without being asked for autographs or selfies.
It has also become a well-known backdrop to popular shows such as The Fall, Come Dine with Me, and BBC 1’s News at 5.
The restaurant has been featured in many magazines including Olive, Ryan Air and Easyjet’s inflight publications, Time Out, and the Belfast Telegraph, and online on at Thrill List and Buzzfeed
Charity also begins at home for Made in Belfast, and they are sponsors for the Malone Ladies Rugby club, however they are also involved with the Smile Foundation, and Plan B who sponsor children in developing countries.
Again, environmental sustainability is reflected in their support of the Woodland Trust, who plant trees to offset customer’s carbon emissions.
By Jonathan Traynor, Excalibur Press
ASOS to Create Over 180 Jobs in Northern Ireland with new Tech Hub
Economy Minister Gordon Lyons today announced that ASOS, one of the world’s leading online fashion retailers, is to invest £14million in a new Tech Hub in Belfast and create 184 new jobs over the next three years.
Welcoming ASOS to Northern Ireland, Gordon Lyons said: “Today’s announcement by ASOS is a clear vote of confidence for Northern Ireland and our strong appeal as an investment location. The development of the new Belfast Tech Hub and the creation of over 180 jobs represents a significant investment in Northern Ireland by the company. In return, our talent base will provide ASOS with the high quality engineering resources it needs to deliver its international growth plans.
“Once in place, the new jobs will contribute almost £6.5million in additional annual salaries to the local economy. Of the new roles, 130 will participate in my Department’s pre-employment Assured Skills training programme which will offer the company a pipeline of skilled people over the next three years.”
The Minister added: “The first Assured Skills Academy with ASOS, focusing on Data Engineering and being delivered by South Eastern Regional College, is open for applications now – I urge anyone who is interested and eligible to apply for this exciting opportunity.”
Speaking about the company’s decision to invest in Northern Ireland, Nick Beighton, CEO, ASOS, said: “As a rapidly growing business at the forefront of online retailing, we’re continually investing in our technology capabilities. Our new hub will provide us with cutting-edge tech expertise to support future growth. Belfast has a wealth of tech talent and we’re excited to be establishing a permanent base in such a vibrant city.”
The new Belfast hub will be operational in early 2022, with 52 dedicated roles in the first year, growing to 184 by 2024, with recruitment already under way. Recruiting across a range of levels and job functions, including engineering and data science, the creation of the new hub in Belfast is part of the wider strategic plans for ASOS’ tech team, which will enable the team to support the continued growth and expansion of ASOS.
Cliff Cohen, Chief Technology Officer, ASOS, said: “ASOS is a fast-growing business and constantly looking to innovate through our technology. As we continue to scale our investment in technology, we are looking to hire talent across engineering roles into our new Tech Hub, and help foster talent in Northern Ireland by supporting its growing reputation as a centre for tech excellence.”
To help secure this project, Invest Northern Ireland has been working with ASOS since 2017, showcasing all that Northern Ireland has to offer. The agency has offered almost £1.2million of support towards the new software engineering roles and the Department for the Economy is funding pre-employment Assured Skills Academy training to the value of almost £1million over three years.
Kevin Holland, Invest NI’s CEO said: “I’m delighted to welcome ASOS to Northern Ireland. Securing this project is yet another tremendous endorsement of our compelling value proposition which includes our highly educated population, underpinned by some of the best educational facilities in the UK. The new roles will offer a range of opportunities for software engineers and analysts, development opportunities for those in the early stages of their tech careers and will provide exciting pathways for people to join Northern Ireland’s digital workforce. We very much look forward to supporting ASOS to grow in Northern Ireland.”
Applications for the ASOS Data Engineering Assured Skills Academy are open until 5.00pm on Friday 22 October 2021. Training will commence for successful applicants on Monday 10 January 2022.
Experience is not required but applicants must be at least 18 years of age and eligible to work in the UK.
More information and details on how to apply are available at http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/assured-skills
NI Engineering Company, PAC Group, Receive Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Innovation
Belfast-based electrical and mechanical engineering company, PAC Group, has received royal recognition for its innovative carbon fibre preforming technology.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the UK, with winners personally approved by her Majesty the Queen. The Group were the only company from Northern Ireland to receive the award for the Innovation category in 2021, and were the first Innovation category winner from the province for three years.
The Lord Lieutenant of Belfast, Mrs Fionnuala Jay O’Boyle, presented the company with the award. She said: “Northern Ireland has a rich and vibrant history of enterprise and innovation. Famous historically for linen and shipbuilding, today it is companies such as PAC Group that proudly carry the innovation torch. This company’s commitment to research and development, and to future-proofing its technology, will ensure its longevity and continued success.”
“The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious and rigorous business awards in the UK, with international regard and recognition. Invariably, it is seen as a highly significant achievement and landmark in any company’s history.”
Founded in 2018, the company has enjoyed a remarkable growth journey, now employing over 40 people at its headquarters in Dargan Crescent, Belfast.
Holding 42 patents on the hardware and software, the company’s Hot Drape Formers and Preforming machines have been purchased by globally leading aerospace and automotive companies such as Spirit AeroSystems and McLaren Automotive.
PAC Group’s Business Development Director, Darren Leslie, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation. It is a fantastic endorsement for our company to be recognised as world-class, and it is a welcome recognition of our team’s capabilities and hard work.”
PAC Group’s Technical Director, Gavin Rankin, added: “Innovation really is the lifeblood of PAC Group, and this award recognises just how innovative our carbon composite preforming technology is, which brings significant benefits to industries seeking to lightweight their structures to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change.”
The Lord Lieutenant of Belfast, Mrs Fionnuala Jay O’Boyle, paid tribute to “the people who are the heart of, and make up, PAC Group”.
She added: “This award is about your joint success, your belief in the spirit of enterprise and entrepreneurship, and your contribution to creating a more stable, sustainable, and prosperous economy for Northern Ireland.”
“PAC Group is a Belfast company and a Northern Ireland success story. The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is indeed a milestone, but it is also a signpost to future success and even greater achievement.”
For more information on PAC Group, go to pacgroup.co.uk