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Ulster Tatler Interview with Simon Hunter

Posted 09.07.13

SIMON, TELL US ABOUT THE BACKGROUND OF HUNTER APPAREL? Hunter Apparel Solutions Ltd was formed in Belfast in 1936. The company became a manufacturer in 1952 and uniquely still offers its own manufacturing unit in Northern Ireland to complement what has become a global sourcing operation for all aspects uniform and PPE clothing.

We source product across South East Asia, North Africa, Eastern Europe and other parts of Western Europe as well. The company currently has 45 staff and is growing staffing to proactively facilitate a strategically planned growth phase for the business against clear strategic business objectives. We offer uniform and PPE design, development, manufacture, sourcing and supply to all our clients. We are a 2012 UK best work-wear design winner.

WHAT ARE YOUR RECENT SUCCESSES?

I have recently had several national level successes back to back. In 2012 I was awarded the Institute of Director’s (IoD) NI Director of the Year for the family business sector. I then was Highly Commended in the 2012 IoD UK finals for Director of the Year for the family business sector.

After this I gained my Chartered Director qualification in early 2013, having gained the highest mark in the whole of the UK across the whole of 2012 in my “Certificate in Company Leadership” exams. In 2013 I then received the IoD “Outstanding Performance Award” for this examination performance.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?

We have recently been short listed in a few extremely prestigious Middle East based contracts and we are waiting to hear more on these. Our “Churchill” brand is increasingly well known in our niche sectors and we are building on that. We have just signed a new licence with W.L. Gore, the owners of the Gore-Tex brand, which will allow us to enter a highly technical new market niche. We are one of only four UK companies which is now licensed to provide technical apparel items to the growing UK utility market sector. “We are currently targeting growth in the NI/ROI at private sector organisations such as premier level hotels and other image conscience organisations.”