Coleraine brothers win £500,000 surfboard investment

Skunkworks Surf Company makes recyclable boards

Skunkworks wants to employ up to 18 people within three years. Image: Thinkstock

Skunkworks wants to employ up to 18 people within three years. Image: Thinkstock

 

Two brothers who have set up Northern Ireland’s first surfboard manufacturing company have attracted new investment totalling £500,000 (€639,000).

Coleraine, Co Derry-based Ricky and Chris Martin, the brothers behind Skunkworks Surf Company, secured the investment boost from local private investors Andrew and Jillian Marsden and Co-Fund NI - the £28 million Invest NIbacked equity.

The Skunkworks Surf Company manufactures its own, 100 per cent recyclable surfboards and stand-up paddle boards which the brothers plan to officially launch in the UK and other European markets in September.

Ricky Martin said the finance deal was a “landmark investment” for the start up.

“We have recently returned from a trade mission in California where the interest in, and demand for, our products is huge - this funding can help us make inroads into the US market.

“We have just taken on a 10-year lease on new and bigger premises in Coleraine Harbour and plan to employ 15-18 people in the next three years,” Mr Martin said.

Confidence

He sees the investment as a major vote of confidence in Skunkworks and the small business sector in the North.

Arthur Cox acted on behalf of Skunkworks in the deal and Alan Taylor, corporate partner at the firm’s Belfast office believes this is just the beginning for the surfboard entrepreneurs.

Mr Taylor said: “We are delighted to see completion on an equity finance deal which we know will help facilitate the company’s exciting growth plans.

“Skunkworks is one of Northern Ireland’s most dynamic recent start-ups, having been recognised with a host of industry accolades. We look forward to seeing the firm continue its upwards trajectory as it seeks to establish its products in new markets.”