‘Committed to Fermanagh’, says business person of the year

Ernest Kidney 2FHBA 102

Business Person of the Year, Ernest Kidney, pictured with, from left, Declan Devlin (O2 Enniskillen), Minister Arlene Foster, and Maurice Kennedy, editor of the Fermanagh Herald

 THE recipient of the Fermanagh Herald ‘Business Person of the Year’ award, was named as managing director of Balcas, Ernest Kidney.

He was presented with the award at the Fermanagh Herald Business Awards 2014, in association with O2 Enniskillen, at Friday night’s gala event.


Ernest has led and grown the company for over 20 years, managing several acquisitions and leading the way in developing energy efficient and cost effective heating solutions.

He joined the business in 1972 and worked in various roles and then progressed to the role of managing director 20 years ago.

He has grown and developed the business from the primary activity of sawmilling, into biomass combined biomass heat and power and the UK and Ireland’s largest manufacturer and supplier of wood pellet fuel.

It is now one of the biggest employers in Fermanagh.

Balcas currently manufactures 150,000 tonnes of brites fuel annually at dedicated pellet mills based here and in Scotland The pellets displace fossil fuels in industrial, commercial and domestic heating boilers and are used in many local businesses including the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen, the Lakeland Forum and the Manor Hotel.

He has also established the Balcas reputation for setting the standards as Europe’s leading manufacturer of primed and veneered architectural mouldings.

Kota is a revolutionary new product and was introduced into the market place in early 2014, and is manufactured at Balcas’s operation in Kildare.


The KOTA range includes architrave, skirting, window board and door frames/stops in a variety of profiles and decorative options.

Mr Kidney’s thoughtful and insightful comments on receiving the award from UTV business journalist Jamie Delargy were well received by the full house attendance at the Killyhevlin Hotel’s Lisgoole Suite.

Ernest described the award as ‘gratifying but personally embarrassing’ and was keen to highlight the work of the hundreds of staff and the business’s stakeholders.

“The important thing as far as Fermanagh is concerned is that the business is committed to Fermanagh and to the hundreds of people in the dedicated workforce which has a low labour turnover and to all the stakeholders who have a committed interest in the business,” he explained.

Asked whether there was a secret to success, Ernest replied: “I don’t think there’s any magic potion. The strategy has to be right and you really need to work hard at it and not let your head down at any time, and then in an environment like this where there is such a good workforce, that’s a tremendous asset.”

For full coverage of the event in a 16-page, see the Fermanagh Herald dated October 15, 2014.


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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA