Happy 40th to Western Building Systems: Forty Years & Building

Friday 21st October marks a very special day in the history of Western Building Systems as we celebrate our 40th birthday. Whilst we’re marking the day with some celebratory cake, we thought we’d share some of the key chapters we’ve gone through to reach the point we’re at today…

Humble Beginnings

WBS was established in its earliest form as Western Roofing on October 20th 1982 by our very-own Martin McCloskey. From those humble beginnings, he launched his family-run business with its first-ever factory and off-site production facility. Just a few years after setting up the company, Western Tank Linings was added which expanded the business into steel-framed garden sheds. 

From that point, Western moved towards the manufacture of mobile buildings for Northern Ireland’s housing & education sectors. By 1987, the company’s growth required new production facilities. This led to the business to the old Ulster Fireclay factory yard in Coalisland, Co. Tyrone, where we then started to manufacture mobile homes. This was in direct response to an urgent need for more classroom accommodation throughout the 1980s. Whilst we started off by advertising our work in local newspapers, we quickly began to respond to tenders, winning our first project for a school in County Antrim; manufacturing and delivering mobile buildings back in 1988.

Growth & Development 

Those were exciting times for WBS, but they weren’t without their challenges. In the late 1980s, a devastating fire ripped through our production facilities. Recovering from that incident and getting back on our feet was down to the hard work and determination of each and every person in the company who came together to rebuild what was lost. 

The introduction of integrated education in the early 1990s saw a rise in demand for mobile classrooms, with greater opportunity in the market. Both existing & new schools required new facilities, and this coincided with the growth of Western who had grown to have over 30 employees. During this period, our staff went above and beyond to meet production demand, often working long hours over a 7-day week. With staff mostly employed from the local area, our company continued to grow and prosper over the coming years. 

Looking to the Future

Fast-forward to 2022, and Western now operates out of a rural site on the outskirts of Coalisland, where factories are now based to produce buildings and their associated products. With over 70 locally-based employees now working for the company, we look back with pride at just how far we’ve come together.

As we gather and enjoy some cake, we look forward to the future with great hope and optimism. Western has recently begun work on a new 12,000 sq foot production facility which will further enhance our in-house manufacturing capabilities. Watch this space! 

On behalf of all of the Western Build family, we’d like to thank our employees, customers and partners for their endless support across our 40 years in business. Here’s to the next exciting chapter!