Scottish packaging manufacturer moves to new seven-figure 20,000 sq ft home


A Scottish drinks packaging supplier is set to bring more jobs to Stirling when it opens its new manufacturing, design and testing centre this month.

The business has secured a seven-figure funding package from the Bank of Scotland to complete the move to the new 20,000 sq ft facility on a greenfield site at Broadleys Business Park.

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McLaren Packaging Ltd, via the companies’ investment in Blue Box Design – the rigid box business acquired in 2013 – plans to create 10 new roles over the next four years, bringing the team to a total of 45, an increase of 30%.

The larger premises will now give the business the flexibility to upscale production when required and significantly increase sales over the next few years.

The move comes after the company, which produces a range of premium and luxury paper-based packaging for major drinks brands, observed a continual growth in demand for more premium expressions. This created an opportunity for the business to supply more of its packaging products to key whisky clients.

The Bank of Scotland supported the business through a development loan, term loan and working capital facility.

Donald McLaren, managing director of McLaren Packaging, said: “As a supplier in a global market, it’s critical for us to move with the trends and invest to deliver a competitive advantage for our business and customers.

“The Scotch Whisky industry posted a record-breaking number of exports for 2017 with overseas shipments up 8.9 per cent to £4.37bn.  As a result, we’ve seen our whisky clients looking to differentiate themselves in the increasingly competitive global market for brown spirits. We’ve seen a huge shift to more elaborate packaging with bespoke designs due to drinkers all over the world demanding quirky and premium variations of our national tipple.

“Having our ambitious growth plans supported by Bank of Scotland has made the process completely streamlined. Its tailored knowledge helps immensely as the relationship team understands our plans and the importance of the impact we are having on the Scottish supply chain.”

Duncan Robertson, Managing Director of Blue Box Design added: “Being able to focus on design, enhance productivity and produce sustainably puts us in a strong position to boost our offering into this market and maximise our location near Scotland’s major whisky producers.”

Suzanne Stuart, relationship director at the Bank of Scotland, said: “The Scottish whisky industry accounts for around 20% of all UK food and drink exports each year. Businesses of all shapes and sizes within that sector need to be well positioned to take advantage of this growth opportunity and help Scotland prosper.

“We are pleased to support McLaren Packaging in this new venture to help the business realise its growth ambitions and effectively compete with other firms.

“We have a team of relationship managers working closely with firms across Scotland. From providing expert advice to supporting businesses’ ambitious growth plans, we are determined to provide the tools needed to help companies achieve and secure success.”

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