Local jobs created as Halcyon Group opens Northern Ireland office

As published in the Irish News and Belfast Telegraph, August 2020
Halcyon Group sets up regional office in Coleraine with ambitious employment and environmentally-sustainable products in development.

Coleraine in county Londonderry will be the regional base for Irish specialist cleaning group Halcyon as it announces the opening of a Northern Ireland division. Since 2004, the group has operated successfully across the 26 counties in Ireland, while also servicing a small but prestigious base of Northern Ireland customers from its head office in Roscommon.

Halcyon Group founder and MD, Peter Kirwan

As business grew, Halcyon recognised that it was no longer feasible to operate solely from Ireland. “To service our Northern customers and build the company footprint in a sustainable way, we needed to prioritise employing local people, with local skill sets and local knowledge,” said company founder and Managing Director, Peter Kirwan. “There are so many similarities in business culture between Northern Ireland and Ireland, so it’s a natural progression to develop the Northern business.”

The group’s new office in Coleraine is now the home base for the first three permanent staff, with ambitions to create another 12 permanent posts and a scalable crew of full- and part-time specialist and general cleaning operatives over the next 12 to 18 months. The newly-appointed regional manager for the North is Limavady resident Andrew Thompson, who brings a wealth of experience from a number of sectors and a strong technical background in mechanical and electrical maintenance. “Halcyon has at least one service to offer every business in Northern Ireland. I’m excited to be progressing the business here,” said Mr Thompson, who will focus on developing the client base, training and managing the team.

Committed to growth in Northern Ireland

“We’re in it for the long term, with a strategy to become one of the biggest specialist-cleaning companies in Northern Ireland. To get there, we need to invest heavily in people,” said Mr Kirwan.

Andrew Thompson, Regional Manager for Northern Ireland, Halcyon Group

The group had already set its sights on expansion before the Covid-19 pandemic. “We made the decision that the virus wasn’t going to be a barrier to growth and used the lockdown as an opportunity to focus on building out our plans,” said Mr Kirwan. Similarly, he hasn’t allowed uncertainties around Brexit to stand in the way: “I prefer to embrace these as challenges rather than see them as obstacles.”

Covid-19 didn’t stall expansion plans

Mr Kirwan added: “Covid-19 has created a heightened awareness of hygiene and greater expectations of cleanliness for compliance, which has boosted the need for Halcyon’s services across numerous sectors.” Clients include big players in healthcare, pharmaceutical, retail and hospitality. Tailored to the pandemic is a Covid-19 infection-control service that includes fogging. Demand for Halcyon’s water-tank cleaning service is gathering as the hospitality sector opens up, because stagnant water in dormant tanks is a breeding ground for bacteria that causes legionnaires disease.

A suite of bespoke cleaning services for every business

The Halcyon Fryer Management System is a unique product that filters oil and cleans fryers, reducing cooking oil consumption by up to 60%, generating significant cost saving for restaurants, hotels and catering companies. Halcyon is also well respected for its contract cleaning and as a duct-cleaning specialist. Grease extraction and HVAC ventilation system cleaning is certified to TR19 standards, which is essential for fire safety and insurance compliance. Unlike many other service providers, Halcyon carries Public and Employers’ Liability and Professional Indemnity, giving organisations protection against claims.

Halcyon also offers floor renovation for Marmoleum and Polyflor, which is popular among retailers and Smyth’s Toys Superstores is among their contracts.

Lead the green agenda for the cleaning services industry

Looking to the future, Halcyon Group has a number of innovative, green products in development, which it plans to introduce into the UK through Northern Ireland. “Driving the environmental agenda within the cleaning service industry is at the core of our strategy for the next 12 to 24 months,” said Mr Kirwan.

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