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RUTHWELL ELECTRONICS EXPERT PLUGS INTO COMPETITIVE RALLYING

Ruthwell Station resident, Tony Buckley, has come full circle from his first job when leaving school.

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Brought up in Keswick, Tony started at 16 as an apprentice at nearby M-sport, Malcolm Wilson’ s well-known rallying company. Tony trained as a wiring technician and became thoroughly at home making wiring looms for rally cars.
Now, with advice and support from the CX Project, he has his own company making those specialist wiring looms from an industrial unit in Annan.

Tony said, “It was coincidence that the local blacksmith I walked into builds and races rally cars. When he mentioned his struggle to find wiring looms for his car I offered to do it for him. This led to an introduction to do another and I have now made a wiring loom for the Welsh GB rally and for local rally driver David Bogie’s car. As yet I haven’t even advertised and have been able to work with famous names such as Cosworth.

“However, without the CX Project, I would have been doing this as odd jobs from home. With their help I put together a good business plan and now work from an industrial unit. In less than 6 months, the CX Project helped me turn what was an idea into a real business.

“The tools for the job are very expensive – they have to be military aerospace specification tools. The grant helped me to buy a second set so that I can have the van kitted out for mobile jobs. This will also be a huge benefit when I expand, as I plan to do. At some point I would like to take on an apprentice, once I have worked out the logistics.

“Bev Bamford’s encouragement was great. At first I thought the amount of paperwork was daunting, but it has been worthwhile and I am meeting all the financial predictions in the business plan.

“My next targets are to look at wiring for other specialist vehicles such as caravans and to contact local specialist engineering companies.”

Racing driver, David Bogie, said, “We want the very best for our competition rally car. Tony has that focused attention to detail that is vital for our chances of winning. The products we use on the car have to be high quality and 100% reliable and that’s what we get with Mapleco. It is a bonus for me that the company is in Dumfries and Galloway.”

Dumfries and Galloway Council hosts the CX Project’s base. Colin Smyth, Chair of the Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee, said,
“This astonishingly rapid progress by Tony is tribute both to his enthusiasm and expertise, and to the support he has received from the CX Project. Mapleco has the potential to become a company known across the UK and it is precisely this kind of small start up with big potential that we want to encourage.

Our Council’s aim is to build the local economy and supporting homegrown businesses is a great way to do exactly that. In the recent budget, we extended the Financial Assistance to Small Business grants. Alongside the Chapelcross grants for Annandale and Eskdale, that makes our region an attractive place to do business.”

Site Director for Magnox at Chapelcross, John Grierson, said, “I’m particularly pleased to see Mapleco’s progress because we consider Tony to be one of our own. He has combined successfully his experience in the motor sport business, his knowledge of electronics and his management skills in this start-up. Mapleco is exactly the kind of business we want to see coming forward for advice and support. Clearly, it is not just the grant that has made the difference for Tony, but also the business planning and advice. ”

You can listen to Tony talk about his business on the following link:
http://annandale.tv/story_threads/399-business

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