Scotmas Group has become the first company in the Scottish Borders to secure funding from a new business loan scheme thanks to help from Business Gateway Scottish Borders.
The company, which manufactures insect repellent and water disinfection products for markets worldwide, currently operates from two sites in Kelso and employs 42 local people and a further 10 people in offices in Chile, Turkey, Portugal and Saudi Arabia.
The £90k loan, secured through Business Loans Scotland, forms part of a £665,000 investment package that also includes a £97k Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grant from Scottish Enterprise, which will help the family-business buy its new 27,000sqft premises in Pinnaclehill Industrial Estate, Kelso, and purchase upgraded equipment.
Account managed by Scottish Enterprise, the business has grown from a home-based business to become a major employer in the Kelso area, with this latest move expected to help create a further 12 local jobs in 2018.
Alistair Cameron, Managing Director of Scotmas, said: “These are exciting times for Scotmas as we enter our 20th year. We have ambitious plans to scale-up our operations in response to significant global interest in our innovative new water treatment products that have been developed alongside a number of university partners, and are now being rolled out across the Middle East and Africa. Securing the funding package has taken a team effort and we are grateful for the significant support we’ve had from HSBC and for the help received from Scottish Enterprise and Business Gateway.”
Alan King, Adviser, Business Gateway Scottish Borders, said: “By working with us, the company has secured finance through Business Loans Scotland which forms an essential part of a funding package that allows the business to consolidate its technical teams, equipment, and chemical manufacturing facilities all under one roof for the first time.”
Ewan Davidson, Account Manager, Scottish Enterprise, said: “For over a decade we have worked closely with Scotmas’ management team, helping the business grow, innovate, create jobs, and export. Most recently, our input has helped the company secure funding through our RSA grant programme. With the move to the new facility due to take place early in 2018, it will not only help Scotmas become more efficient, it will allow the firm to establish a test and training facility for international clients and distributors, which will, in turn, help increase its credibility and open new opportunities with clients worldwide.”
After spending years working throughout Africa, Scotmas Group Chairman, Derek Cameron, spotted a gap in the market for a new and effectivebiocide – chlorine dioxide – that could protect food supplies from bacterial spoilage due to heat and hygiene issues.
In 1998, he set up the firm, initially operating from his home with three employees. He was quickly joined by his sons, Ewan and Alistair, and over the past 20 years the innovative company has helped protect countless people and environments from dangerous bacteria and contamination across Europe, the Middle East, and southern Africa.
Regarded as one of the world’s leading specialists in chlorine dioxide application technology, Scotmas now plans to expand its reach into Asia and South America in 2018.
Alistair said: “Our technology helps save lives, and our most recent innovation, a hydro-electric powered water disinfectant system is currently helping to clean and disinfect water without the use of solar power in Botswana. It took over three years, and a significant amount of support from Scottish Enterprise’s innovation team, to develop the product which is now attracting interest from across the world.”
Business Loans Scotland is backed by a consortium of all 32 Scottish local authorities and can provide loans of up to £100k to new and growing SMEs across Scotland. Loans can be used for working capital, to purchase plant and equipment or business property. Successful applicants must secure 50% match funding to be eligible for a loan.