Marking its 80th anniversary this year, PBM discovers the story behind Kilwaughter Minerals and what the company’s plans for the future are.
Kilwaughter Minerals Ltd was established in 1939 from the quarry in Kilwaughter, Northern Ireland. As a privately-owned business, the quarry has been driven and developed to incorporate two manufacturing operations over 75 acres which are described as the lynchpin of the company’s stated purpose and vision: Purpose — to manufacture and distribute innovative limestone-based products; Vision — to be the brand of choice, serving the customer, ensuring long term sustainability.
The business has two company brands, K Rend and Kilwaughter Lime. The K Rend is billed as “the UK’s largest independent silicone render manufacturer” and, supplying builders’ merchants throughout the UK and Ireland, it works closely with architects, applicators, homes owners and builders to support the design and build process to provide “high quality products resulting in long-lasting, superior facades”.
The consistency of the product, its raw materials and manufacturing processes are said to be key to this supply and delivery chain with the company’s ability to use its own limestone described as being a crucial competitive advantage.
Offering tailored training courses on site at Kilwaughter is highlighted as another important stage in supporting its customer network, ensuring users are confident in handling the materials, the testing they have undertaken and the support network available for technical, sales and marketing queries.
Kilwaughter seeks to validate its systems and processes from external objective experts and certifiers achieving ISO 9001 (Quality Management), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management) and OHSAS 18801 (Occupational Health and Safety Management) alongside membership of industry bodies like RIBA, BBA, BSI and NSAI.
Using the Kilwaughter Lime company brand, the company manufactures and supplies limestone-based products into the construction and agricultural sectors. Underpinned by an aim to use all elements of the limestone responsibly, minimising any waste where possible, Kilwaughter also supplies other limestone-based products in bulk locally for use in roads, other building materials, animal feed supplements and water treatments.
Across both company brands, customer service and a long-term partnership approach are emphasised as essential elements to business practice — ensuring reliable levels of service, delivery and payment to all of their connected stakeholders. This long-standing and ‘invested partnership approach’ is said to be evident in the range of customers and suppliers the organisation deals with, with its customers ranging from small independent merchants to large national chains.
Locally, as a Top 100 company, Kilwaughter says that it not only offers growing levels of employment but also strives to reinvest with local suppliers where possible. In the last financial year, for example, it spent over £3 million pounds with local hauliers and also uses local companies for a wide variety of its services and utilities including printing and advertising materials, trays for samples to customers, recruitment, catering, fuel, company cars, and stationery.
This continues into the healthy capital expenditure plans which the company has outlined as a strategic commitment for the next few years, focusing on ensuring that the production capabilities and general facilities can match the ambitious growth plans projected. Security of long-term mineral supply to support these investment decisions is essential and, once again presenting further opportunities for local companies to satisfy the contracts being created, this will include the construction of new office premises at the Kilwaughter site.
Corporate Social Responsibility
The business highlights its commitment to its corporate social responsibilities throughout the year as a key means of implementing its core values of being respectful and responsible. It donates generously to charity each year, focusing on charities that are centred around education and research.
This continues with its support of Queen’s University through the Knowledge Transfer and Pathway Opportunity Programmes — important ways to support young people in their education through opportunity and financial support.
Kilwaughter also support LEDCOM (a regional economic development body) through financial and time commitments, assisting in redevelopment and business development for local people requiring support and advice.
The business has also retained strong links over many years with a local social enterprise company, AEL. Kilwaughter use AEL to manufacture and dispatch customer samples, providing the consistent workload that helps to allow AEL to offer employment to local people with learning or employment difficulties. This commitment has been recognised recently by Social Enterprise NI with Kilwaughter receiving Highly Commended as Stakeholder of the Year.
For more information on Kilwaughter Minerals’ range of products and services, visit www.kilwaughter.com.