NI Hearse builder Quinn develops ‘coffin pod’ as protection for mourners and funeral home staff

A Northern Ireland hearse building firm has launched a ‘coffin pod’ to help protect grieving families and funeral directors as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Family-owned Quinn Hearse & Limousines in Portglenone, County Antrim have specialised in the design and manufacture of hearses and limousines for over a quarter of a century and currently employ 22 staff.

The company’s revolutionary new product has been launched following extensive market research after Quinn’s were awarded the Innovate NI Gold Standard accreditation.

The Coffin Pod is a sealed glass box which will allow funeral directors to transport coffins safely, and allow families to have open coffin wakes while observing social distancing measures.

The development of the new product has been made possible with the support of a network of stakeholders, including the Mid & East Antrim council’s Economic Development team, Innovate UK and Invest NI.

Patrick Quinn, Company Director of Quinn Hearse & Limousines, spoke of how they developed the new product.

He said: “Innovation and new product development have been core to the business’s continued success. We had the idea to develop the Coffin Pod, after seeing the impact that Covid-19 was having on families being unable to properly mourn for their loved ones and to protect funeral directors in transport to their final resting place.

“Mid and East Antrim Borough Council have supported us through the process of applying for the Innovate UK Challenge Fund to address the current and future impacts of Covid-19. With their support, we successfully secured the funding to develop our Coffin Pod.

“We are delighted to have now launched this into the market, and to have been awarded the Innovate NI Gold standard. We continue to develop our core product ranges of hearses and limousines and have several new vehicles under development.”

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor William McCaughey, said: “Quinn Hearse & Limousine is just one of many companies across Mid and East Antrim to have benefitted from support via Council’s Amplify programmes, since the launch of our economic development strategy in 2018.

“As well as supporting our SMEs to navigate through the current challenges posed by COVID-19, we are preparing for the new economic landscape as we navigate post lockdown, and have provided expert guidance to support Quinn Hearse & Limousine with its longer-term business development strategy.”

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Business Escalator and Escalator Plus Programmes are part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland Programme.

Toby Doyle
Author: Toby Doyle

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