Posted on Thursday 26 August 2010 by Ulster Business

He might be known for his snail porridge and bacon and egg ice-cream, but celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal’s tastes also run to Northern Irish design work.

The chef has awarded a contract worth about £5m to Newry-based company MJM to fit out his new restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hyde Park, London. MJM provides specialist joinery fit out and refurbishment services to clients in a number of sectors including cruise liners, banks and hotels. Owned by Brian McConville, it employs about 100 people and expects to increase its turnover to close to £20m this year from £12.5m last year. Invest Northern Ireland, which has provided assistance to MJM, said that in total the company had won contracts worth £6.2m in the London hotel sector in recent months. Mr McConville, Chairman of MJM Group, said: “Our recent success in London’s hotel industry signals the continued success of our global sales strategy, which has been bolstered by the assistance and support of Invest NI over the last number of years. By enhancing our skills and capabilities we’ve built up a strong reputation as a global player in the industry and will continue to focus our future sales efforts on opportunities outside Northern Ireland.” Commenting on MJM’s successes, Jeremy Fitch, Invest NI’s Managing Director for international business, added: “This local company has consistently invested in skills and wider capability development in order capitalise on sales outside Northern Ireland. “Their latest hotel fit out contract highlights how making fundamental and continuous improvements to operations can help local companies position themselves strongly to win new business in key markets.”

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