POWER Jacks of Balmacassie declared their new headquarters officially open yesterday, after a ceremony by First Minister Alex Salmond.
Press, local invited dignitaries and councillors were on hand for the event, which comes after the company announced last year that it would be moving to the new facility in Ellon from its old base at Fraserburgh. Managing Director Bruce Baltitude gave Mr Salmond a tour of the shop floor and office space before speaking to the other visitors.
The company specialises in the production of industrial lifting and positioning equipment including screw jacks, gear boxes, actuators and planetary roller screws.
Thanking the gathered audience, Mr Baltitude said that the company owed a debt of gratitude to builder Mansell, and to generous bankers at Clydesdale who had agreed to help fund the company’s expansion.
He joked: “We’ve been considering a new factory for many years. What better time to invest £6 million than in the middle of the worst recession in years?
He said that the company had to adapt to changing markets, and the changing nature of manufacturing in the UK.
“Traditionally, we have sold to UK manufacturers, however we have moved decisively into the international market. We are seeking new markets in renewables and the recycling industry, and our customers are continuing to buy from us thanks to the creativity and ingenuity of our designers.”
The First Minister spoke before unveiling the foundation plaque, adding that the business was an excellent illustration of how Scotland could be ‘re-industrialised’.
“Ultimately, any economy has to have, at it’s core, people making things,” he said. “There has to be manufacturing at the heart of any economy. I’m delighted to be here, in an auspicious day for Ellon and Power Jacks.”
Also speaking was James Ingleby, Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, who presented Mr Baltitude with the Queens Award for Business Enterprise, in recognition of the company’s impressive growth in the past few years.