A leading farm plastics recycling firm is taking forward expansion plans as it continues its recovery from a devastating fire two years ago.
Solway Recycling suffered significant damage during the blaze in May 2020 at their Dumfries base but the company’s determination to continue saw them return to operations within four weeks.
Since then, the team at Solway Recycling has been busy rebuilding the business, with a new £3million project to install a new product manufacturing facility and replace workshops and office units.
South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) has provided £500,000 towards the project, which will see a new production line introduced that sustains 21 existing jobs and creates six new jobs.
A further six jobs over the next two years are also expected to be created.
The upgraded facilities will be state-of-the-art, and will include a specialised digitally controlled plastic extrusion machine which will produce different sizes and thickness of recycled plastic sheets.
Solway Recycling was set up by local farmer Roy Hiddleston in 1992 to re-process dirty farm plastics into useable products such as pig-pens, hen houses and kennels – allowing them to make crucial links between agriculture, recycling and reuse and the green economy.
Solway operates a national farmers recycling service which is available throughout the UK and Ireland, by using a network of distributors in different areas.
The company also helps farmers comply with new farm waste laws.
Over the next five years, Solway Recycling expect to re-process enough waste farm plastics to circle the equator over 10 times, making a significant Net Zero contribution.
Business Minister Ivan McKee visited Solway Recycling recently as part of a tour of a series of Dumfries and Galloway businesses.
Mr McKee said:
“It is fantastic that Solway Recycling’s new facility is soon to be completed after the damaging fire at the company in 2020.
“This investment will help Solway Recycling expand their workforce and play their part in helping Scotland reach our commitment of Net Zero emissions by 2045, through their innovative and sustainable ways of working.”
Roy Hiddleston added:
“After the fire, we were determined to come back as soon as possible.
“Two years on, thanks to the dedication and hard work of all our team, we are charging on with our product manufacturing facility.
“With support from SOSE, we believe the new facility will take our business forward, help us expand our dedicated team and continue to positively contribute to the circular economy.”
Professor Russel Griggs, Chair of SOSE said:
“We know that businesses in the South of Scotland are hugely resilient, having suffered a series of back-to-back challenges in the last two years, from COVID-19, the impact of the Ukraine war and now soaring energy and fuel prices.
“Solway Recycling is an excellent example of this determination, coming back from such a devastating fire in 2020.
“I am delighted that SOSE have been able to work with them to ensure the business survives, and with its new facilities, I am sure thrive going forward.
“With agriculture making up more than a quarter of all businesses in the South of Scotland, companies such as Solway Recycling are going to be so important to supporting the sector’s – and our region as a whole – move towards a sustainable future.”