Bison Manufacturing’s Uddingston facility has been made a Centre of Excellence for bespoke precast concrete products following a £100,000 investment in the plant.
The investment – supported by £60,000 from Scottish Enterprise – has been used to protect a minimum of 27 jobs and to purchase new machinery, making the site more efficient and better equipped to produce an even wider range of products for the Scottish and UK construction markets. The efficiencies obtained have already assisted Bison in winning significant new orders, resulting in the creation of an additional 19 jobs at the site.
An original stressing ram, installed when the site opened in 2000, has been replaced with a new state-of-the-art multi-stressing ram for a speedier, more efficient production process. The site’s curing boilers have also been replaced with streamlined, environmentally efficient systems.
Other new additions include machinery specifically designed for the creation of the 200mm sound precast slab – a product that conforms to Scotland’s new-build housing regulations relating to noise reduction – and a suite of new moulds capable of making innovative features such as precast walling slabs with tongue-and-groove detailing.
The transformation of the Uddingston facility has been carried out with assistance from Scottish Development International, a partnership between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, which has been working closely with Bison since summer 2012 when the UK’s leading precast concrete manufacturer announced it was considering closing the facility.
Recognising the importance of the plant to local employment and the Scottish construction market, £60,000 was offered towards modernisation, with Bison contributing the balance required to carry out the works.
The Scottish Government’s John Swinney says: “The construction industry is vitally important to Scotland’s economy, offering a GVA of £8.7bn and employing 170,000 people. Offsite construction methods provided by companies like Bison Manufacturing reduce supply-chain costs, waste streams, build times, remedial works and generally result in increased build quality.
“With its rich heritage dating back to 1919, I am delighted to see Bison Manufacturing retain its presence in Scotland, and with an enhanced manufacturing facility equipped to service the Scottish and UK construction markets for many years to come.”
Kieran White, general manager at Bison Manufacturing, adds: “The creation of this Centre of Excellence for bespoke precast products represents a new era for Bison in Scotland and we are very grateful for the support we have received from the Scottish Government. Their £60,000 investment has been instrumental in helping us to transform our Uddingston plant into a modern, efficient manufacturing facility.”