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New factory opens after £13.5m spend by McLaren Packaging

Left to right: Michael McLaren of McLaren Packaging, Steve Railton of Compack, Donald McLaren of McLaren , Adrian Gillespie of Scottish Enterprise, and Wellbeing Economy Secretary Neil Gray.
(Image: Alistair Devine)

A NEW packaging facility for luxury food and drink, pharmaceutical, and medical brands has officially been unveiled in Livingston.

The new Compack Cartons operation was established following a £13.5 million investment by Port Glasgow-based McLaren Packaging, which acquired the firm in 2017.

Compack was previously based in an 8,000 square foot premises in an adjacent unit in the Houston Industrial Estate. It is said to have doubled its workforce and quadrupled turnover since become part of McLaren.

Compack designs and manufactures high quality carton packaging for premium and luxury brands in the food and drink, pharmaceutical and medical device sectors, with all products made exclusively from recyclable materials. Its move to a 66,000 sq ft unit at the Houston Industrial Estate allowed it to significantly upgrade its facilities, which include new plant and the latest print, foil, embossing the finishing technologies. The unit also has storage space for 1,200 pallets.

The move was supported by a grant from Scottish Enterprise and is expected to create 26 new jobs and safeguard 59 existing roles for the next two years.

Neil Gray, Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy officially opened the new facility this morning.

Steve Railton, managing director of Compack, said: ‘The larger production facility and industry leading machinery gives Compack the capability to better serve the needs and growth aspirations of our key customers responsibly. Our goal is to have the most energy efficient, sustainable facility in the UK.

“Our new facility expands our production capacity significantly, enables us to attract and retain highly skilled staff and create new skilled jobs in Central Scotland for young people.

“It also gives us the ability to manufacture short runs, to short lead times with a short supply chain to local and international companies based in the UK.”

Donald McLaren, managing director of McLaren Packaging, said: “The investment in Compack demonstrates the importance of our Livingston operation and our long-term commitment to the future of premium and luxury packaging produced in Scotland.

“We foresee significant opportunity for locally sourced packaging and this expansion will allow us to offer a comprehensive portfolio of eco-conscious packs to the market. There is considerable client interest for this proposition and the venture will enable us to deliver on this opportunity.

“The investment also allows us to vertically integrate by bringing in house our existing material purchasing for conversion in other areas of our business. We are proud to be a wholly independent Scottish manufacturer providing high quality products to both global and local clients.”

Mr Gray said: “I was delighted to be able to visit Compack Cartons’ new facility and see how Scottish Enterprise grant support for the investment will allow the company to expand its operations and workforce, helping us strive toward our ambition of becoming the home of low carbon manufacturing innovation.

“Not only will this project create 26 new skilled jobs, through the company’s sustainable practices, it will help us in our aim to reach net-zero by 2045 and create a wellbeing economy.”

Adrian Gillespie, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, said: “The contribution Scotland’s manufacturing businesses make to the country’s economy is huge. Collectively, they employ nearly 200,000 people, are responsible for over half of the country’s international exports, and account for almost half of Scotland’s business expenditure on research and development.

“Scottish Enterprise’s support for this new facility underlines our commitment to Scotland’s manufacturers. By helping companies like Compack invest in innovation, we can drive growth, create jobs, increase productivity, and accelerate decarbonisation plans.”

McLaren Packaging, which was founded in 1979, manufactures paper-based packaging for the Scotch whisky and premium drinks sectors. With six factories in central Scotland, it has a 300-strong workforce and turns over around £45m.

Livingston: New factory opens after £13.5m spend by McLaren Packaging | HeraldScotland

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