The Innovation Centre at Ecos has welcomed another tenant to its Ballymena-based business hub as it expands its occupant portfolio.
Castillo Pools, a swimming pool manufacturer, designer and installer that specialises in stainless steel swimming pools and spas has moved into the hub in order to facilitate future growth.
The business, which is run by co-founders Marc McMullan and Paul Neely, made the strategic move from pool maintenance and installation to a designer, fabricator and installer of its own range of precision engineered stainless steel pools and spas – all of which are structurally self-supporting.
It now supplies a broad range of pools and spas for the domestic, commercial, leisure and therapy sectors across the UK and Ireland.
As the structurally self-supporting pool shells can be installed above ground in virtually any location, this has enabled the business to expand into the management and running of swim schools, with its Ballymena operations now seeing over 600 learners coming through the doors each week.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor William McCaughey, welcomed the company to Ballymena.
“The Innovation Centre at Ecos is just one element of Council’s vision to create an innovation district in Ballymena which would form part of a wider innovation ecosystem across the borough to continue to drive economic growth and prosperity.
“We are delighted to welcome Paul, Marc and the Castillo Pools team as they continue their journey.”
Castillo Pools’ Director, Paul Neely, explained how the workspace’s accessibility and natural surroundings helped incite the move.
“The Innovation Centre at Ecos is a fantastic space which aligns with our design values by promoting growth, learning and sustainability. It not only provides our team with access to state-of-the-art meeting rooms, facilities, and communal areas, but also to a like-minded community of innovators and creators and a network of businesses and knowledge.
“The site itself is extremely accessible and in a very practical setting being so close to Ballymena town centre. Being surrounded by nature is a bonus as it is known to increase creativity and benefit overall mental health which is a luxury that every employer would wish for their team.”
Fabricated from stainless steel, the firm’s pool shells are high quality and long lasting, which, according to co-founder Marc McMullan, means they will “stand the test of time”.
“Having developed a bespoke panel system, our pools can be assembled quickly and efficiently on-site or off-site, allowing for easier transportation and installation,” he said.
“We also offer a one-piece pool that can be transported to a site primed for direct installation.
“Our liner panel system can be erected in or above ground, as well as in virtually any building. That means it is ideal for repurposing locations and establishing swim schools in buildings that weren’t previously available.”
Part of the wider Catalyst ecosystem across Northern Ireland, the Ecos facility has features 20,000 sq. ft of Grade A office space and the capacity to house up to 125 workers.
Other tenants include cloud-based death care management firm PlotBox, Young Enterprise NI and Connon Associates Limited, a digital accountancy practice.
Welcoming Castillo Pools to the Innovation Centre, Andy McDonald, Catalyst’s Business Development Manager, said:
“Castillo Pools is joining a wider connected community of innovators and creators from right across Northern Ireland. We’re excited to be able to help them as they continue their plans for future growth and development.”