Connecting Business – Growing Opportunities

Northern Irish Businesses Triumph at Causeway Awards 2021

Northern Ireland’s FK Lowry and Manabu Learning showcased for their exporting success and innovation at recent business awards held in Edinburgh.

Two Northern Irish businesses, FK Lowry and Manabu Learning, were recently celebrated for their outstanding achievements by winning Awards at the prestigious, Gala Black Tie Celebration of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland Awards Night, held in Edinburgh on 7 October 2021.


Sponsored by Cooper Software, the 2021 Causeway Business Awards Celebrations were attended by approximately 250 business leaders, from a variety of sectors, from across Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. These annual Causeway Awards are a high-profile annual event that showcase and celebrate business successes and trading triumphs from both sides of the Irish Sea, with keynote guest speeches on the evening from Scottish Government’s Ivan McKee, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, Irish Government’s Consul General of Ireland in Scotland, Jane McCulloch and the Depute Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Councillor Joan Griffiths MBE.


The Northern Irish Exporter to Scotland of the Year Award was sponsored and presented on the night by Invest Northern Ireland’s Nick Tuberville to winners in this category, FK Lowry. With a head office in Belfast, FK Lowry have been successfully delivering specialist piling and ground engineering projects to the construction Industry for over 35 years. As part of their recent growth strategy, they identified Scotland as a region for stimulus, growth and opportunity, with one of their key projects being the new Aberdeen Children’s Hospital Scheme, a £4m sub-contract to design and install the foundation element of this exciting scheme.

Commenting on receiving the prestigious Award, Mark McKeown of FK Lowry said:

“We at FK Lowry are honoured to have secured the Northern Irish Exporter to Scotland of the Year Award at this year’s Causeway Awards. The Award is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our team in growing the Scottish side of our business.  

“Following the successful delivery of recent projects, and the warm reception that we have received from Scottish business, it was an easy business decision to open a Scottish office. This commitment is a reflection on our strategy that Scotland is a region of stimulus and growth, and we look forward to continuing to provide our Scottish clients with a superior piling and ground engineering service.”

Also awarded on the night was the Innovative Organisation of the Year, sponsored by Attend Anywhere, to William Redpath of Manabu Learning, who won the award against competitive entries from across the UK and Ireland. Founded by Mr Redpath in Lisburn in March 2020, Manabu Learning uses technology and online interactive events and games to boost morale, build teams and increase learning and future workforce development.

Commenting on receiving the Award, Founder of Manabu Learning, William Redpath said:

“I am thrilled to have received this award and recognition at such a high-profile business celebration. When 23rd March hit last year, at the start of the pandemic, it looked like curtains for our young business; I could never have believed that 18 months later, we would be in Edinburgh picking up our first ever business award!

“This award was validation for our hard work in bringing our programmes online in the last 18 months, but I also believe it is our fresh and friendly approach to business which really makes a difference to our clients. This award is for my friends, family and colleagues who have supported my business since I started it.”


In addition, on the night, Shona McCarthy, CEO of Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society who is originally from Co Down, was honoured with a Causeway Special Contribution Award in recognition of the key role she has played in enhancing the cultural ties between Scotland and Northern Ireland, while being recognised as an exemplary and inspiring business leader. Read more here.

Chair of Causeway: Ireland Scotland Business Exchange, David Greenlees added:

“The strength of our Causeway membership network lies in bringing people closer together and creating new business opportunities. We represent an established and effective group of business leaders in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland and our annual Awards are an opportunity to showcase and recognise the outstanding achievements of the businesses and people in our network.

“Over the last year, by connecting an increase of Northern Irish professionals and businesses with our network through our topical online activities and events, as well as our growing strong working partnership with Invest Northern Ireland, we are delighted to have seen more and more Northern Irish professionals engaging with Causeway and joining our growing membership network.

“We are committed to supporting Northern Irish businesses, where we can, to grow connections and operations with Scotland, and to showcase and give recognition to those businesses who have particularly demonstrated innovation and have triumphed in the last challenging year. Many congratulations to FK Lowry and Manabu Learning, and to Northern Irish diaspora Shona McCarthy!”


Expressing support of the Causeway Awards and the network, Nick Turberville of Invest Northern Ireland commented: 

Invest Northern Ireland are thrilled to have sponsored this Northern Irish Exporter of the Year Causeway Award. We are relatively new members of Causeway, and since we’ve joined, we’ve found the community so vibrant, so engaging, and so helpful and we want to introduce our client companies to this network.

Invest Northern Ireland love partnering with Causeway. Over the last year, we’ve run a fantastic set of events around digitising the construction sector and everyone has been so participative and really engaged in this series of events - it’s been wonderful to see, and we hope in the coming years to broaden that out to other, wider sectors.”

Interested in becoming part of our growing Causeway network of Irish-Scottish business professionals? Join us today! 

Author: Aoife O'Sullivan

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About The Author

Aoife O'Sullivan

Aoife is currently Business Engagement and Communications Manager at Edinburgh Napier University, supporting the Research, Innovation and Enterprise section of the university to showcase its research and expertise through its Innovation Hub, and helping to build business connections and collaborations between industry and academia that spark innovations and encourage industry growth. Focus areas are in the specific fields of: AI & advanced technologies; health; environment; and culture and communities.


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