Lowden Guitars has handcrafted its 20,000th guitar, a significant milestone for the Downpatrick business.
In three years since receiving a significant loan from the Growth Loan Fund, the company has created 13 jobs and expanded its workshop from two to nine units.
Finance for the £50m Growth Loan Fund – which provides loans to established Northern Ireland SMEs seeking to access growth finance – has been provided by Invest Northern Ireland and private investor, Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC).
Founded by George Lowden in 1974, the firm now employs 29 highly skilled workers to produce handcrafted instruments that are in demand throughout Europe, North America, Canada, Australia and the Far East. George’s high quality instruments have been used by some of the world’s most famous artists, including Gary Lightbody, Ed Sheeran, Eric Clapton and Foy Vance.
Speaking about the 20,000th guitar, he said: “The Genesis guitar is the most unique piece we have ever created. We have been working on this project for over a year now and not only is it stunning to look at, but the sound it produces is also incredible.
“A piece of the guitar was sent to an artist in America and he has created a phenomenal piece of artwork, inlayed in to the wood itself.
“We’ve taken our time on this project because I wanted to create a truly spectacular piece to mark such a significant milestone for us.
“We’ve already sold the guitar to a local buyer and, while I can’t tell you how much it went for, we believe it is the most expensive guitar ever made in Ireland and possibly Great Britain.