Country music favourite Daniel O’Donnell is tuning up for a gig with a difference this weekend in Co Armagh.
While the well-travelled singer has played venues of all shapes and sizes throughout the world, Saturday will be the first time he has ever sung in a storage unit.
The special show is a favour to his son-in-law Gavin Shields who opens a new self-storage business in Portadown tomorrow.
Gavin, 39, who has been married to Siobhan – the daughter of Daniel’s wife Majella – for three-and-a-half years, said: “I talk to Majella and Daniel about my business all the time. I probably bore them to tears about it.
“They’ve always been unbelievably supportive of everything I’ve done. They’re dream in-laws.
“I suppose this is the first chance they’ve had to help me.
“Daniel suggested he could come along and sing some songs on Saturday at the official opening. Majella is going to be there too.
“I’d say this is first time he’s sung at a self-storage facility.”
Of the business, the Banbridge man said: “Self storage is relatively new to Northern Ireland and to the UK.
“For every person in America there is six square foot of storage space. In the UK for every person there is 0.6 square foot of storage space, so we’ve got 10% of the storage space there is in the USA.
“It’s been growing rapidly over the past 10 or 20 years in the UK.
“I’ve been analysing the market for quite a long time. This is my first facility, it’s 12,000 square feet.
“If you look at some of the big guys over in London you’re talking 200 to 300,000 square feet.”
The entrepreneur has worked all over Europe in economics and finance and in the past few years has moved back to Northern Ireland to pursue new business ideas.
His purpose-built warehouse facility is close to the centre of Portadown in Brownstown Business Centre.
Store Stuff NI is also fully automated to allow users to operate the opening of the gates and unit through a downloadable app.
He said: “I am committed to keep operating costs to a minimum and pass on cost savings to customers.
“One of the trends that’s driving self-storage is that the size of homes is getting smaller. People are less likely to have a garage or a roofspace.
“You might have people who want to clear out a room to use it for a baby or as a study or people who are moving house might need somewhere to store their things for three months while they make the move.
“There are also business customers who use it for stock.”
• Daniel O’Donnell will perform at the launch of the business at 5pm on Saturday.