Once a bustling, rural centre, Mullan village once had more than 80 people employed in the Border Brand Shoe Factory until it closed in the 1970s.
After the closure, locals left the village in search of work and the shoe factory and local houses were abandoned for almost 25 years.
In 2008 Mullan Lighting was established in one room of the old shoe factory. With the help of crucial European funding, Mullan Lighting repaired the old factory and transformed it into a lighting design centre that employs over 60 people.
“Supported by European Regional Development Funding, LEO helped us with the expansion and set-up of our current premises which enabled us to increase our output capacity and capabilities,” explains Mike Treanor, Director of Design and Operations, Mullan Lighting.
“The funding also helped us improve our production process and hire more employees. Now we can undertake all manufacturing and production in house, which has significantly impacted our ability to compete with UK competitors and improve our turnaround time to clients.”
Mullan Lighting has an ever-expanding team of designers and craftspeople creating beautiful pieces from simple suspensions to more intricate fixtures and bespoke shades.
“The funding really helped give us the leg up we needed, and we have gone from strength to strength as a result,” says Mr Treanor. “During the first few years of business, finances were tight, so it wouldn’t have been possible to employ so many people at such an early stage. The funding really fast-tracked our success.”
Mullan is lighting its way to a very bright future: it currently exports to all corners of the globe and has a diverse assortment of high-profile clients including celebrities, noted international brands and even the British Royal family.