£500k factory investment

Pictured are Jenna Mairs, Investment Manager at WhiteRock Capital Partners and Richard Gibson, Managing Director of Smyth & Gibson Shirtmakers.
Pictured are Jenna Mairs, Investment Manager at WhiteRock Capital Partners and Richard Gibson, Managing Director of Smyth & Gibson Shirtmakers.

A Londonderry shirtmaker has secured a £500,000 loan to support global expansion and in the process create four new jobs.

Smyth & Gibson Shirtmakers, based at Victoria Road in the Waterside, is one of the last remaining traditional

traditional handmade shirtmakers in Great Britain and Ireland. The company manufactures top quality garments for leading high street brands such as Selfridges and House of Fraser.

Products are currently exported to Canada, Germany, Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands, with 54 staff employed at the company’s Londonderry base.

Richard Gibson, Managing Director of Smyth & Gibson Shirtmakers said: “Over the past 12 months we have grown the business steadily, breaking in to new markets and building our online presence.

“This investment, combined with the continuing support from Invest NI and our equity partners, will allow us to implement our future growth strategy. This strategy will be concentrated on further developing our existing export markets of Canada and Germany, as well as supporting growth in our direct retail channels.

“The recent development of a web concession with House of Fraser, is an example of the growth plan that will help deliver improved margins and more direct contact with the end consumer.”

Jenna Mairs, Investment Manager at WhiteRock Capital Partners, commented: “Smyth & Gibson Shirtmakers are one of the North West’s leading manufacturers. The company has a global presence with products being exported across Europe and Canada. The products manufactured take a great deal of skill to create and focusing on quality has enabled one of the few remaining traditional shirtmakers in Great Britain and Ireland to thrive.

“Export sales are a major contributor to the Northern Ireland Economy and Smyth & Gibson Shirtmakers has demonstrated potential for further growth. We have made an investment that will help support the future growth of the business worldwide and create jobs in the local area.”

Smyth & Gibson were advised on the deal by Deloitte’s Corporate Finance department.