Bridge of Weir Leather Company, a subsidiary of the Scottish Leather Group, was proudly presented with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for the fourth time in the company’s history yesterday.
Also, and on the back of remarkable export performance, the company has extended its facilities at Bridge of Weir with the opening of a brand new factory to support rapid growth and increasing sales to overseas markets.
As The Queen’s representative in Renfrewshire, Lord Lieutenant Mr Guy Clark presented the award for international trade to Bridge of Weir Managing Director Karen Marshall, and said: “Bridge of Weir’s success story is a remarkable one, and one Renfrewshire should be very proud of as a substantial employer and international brand name in our region. In the last three years, and at the height of a global recession, Bridge of Weir’s sales have grown 150%, with 90% of these sales made overseas. It is clear that from this company’s 107 years of producing leather, it knows exactly what it is doing and where it is going. There is a comprehensive expansion plan for the company locally, resulting in excellent job opportunities within the area.”
Other world famous Scottish exports, car designers Ian Callum (Design Director, Jaguar Cars) and Moray Callum (Executive Director, Ford Americas Design), were on hand to help with the official opening of the new factory. After the plaque unveiling by Bridge of Weir Chairman, Jonathan Muirhead, the spotlight shifted to the brothers, who ‘revealed’ the new factory’s shop floor to invited guests, rather like they would their latest car design at an international motor show.
Ian Callum said: “I have worked with Bridge of Weir on several car designs and have always been impressed by the craftsmanship and attention to detail in the company’s leather products. The company and its people are a pleasure to work with and I am happy to be here today to help celebrate their international success.”
Moray Callum added: “The international growth of this company is outstanding, especially in these tough economic times. I know from my colleagues at Lincoln, that the design and effort expended by the Bridge of Weir guys to get their product just right, is simply second to none. The brand name and the reputation of Bridge of Weir executives in the U.S. is excellent, and their low carbon product is both unique and of outstanding quality – I am proud to be a part of this very Scottish celebration today.”
Bridge of Weir Managing Director, Karen Marshall, said: “It is a very proud day for Bridge of Weir, with the presentation of our Queen’s Award for Enterprise and the new factory opening representing a very significant investment in our future. Our success overseas, as recognised by the Queen’s Award, is down to a lot of hard work delivering the levels of quality, craftsmanship and service we are famous for, and the new facilities opened today are designed to deliver more of the same and even greater achievements in the future.”
Scottish Leather Group Chairman, Jonathan Muirhead, added: “Bridge of Weir Leather Company been a part of my family, and here in Renfrewshire, for over 100 years, and we are all, as a family and a community, extremely proud of this business’s achievements. It is down to the hard work of the whole team here, each and every one of whom I would like to thank personally for making this expansion possible, and for continuing to reinforce our name on the global stage as a great Scottish success story.”
The £2 million new factory at Bridge of Weir will get to work right away, supplying leather to automotive brands all over the world, including Aston Martin, Ford, Fisker, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercedes AMG, Volvo and others – many of whom supplied vehicles to display at the new factory today. Other Scottish Leather Group customers, including Morgan Motor Company, British Airways, Emirates Airline and Singapore Airlines’ interior leather will also be manufactured at the new facility.
Up to 70 staff will move into the new facilities immediately, with room for another 80 as output fully ramps up over the coming months. Capacity at the new facility is currently 6000 hides per week, with space to further expand and accommodate more than 10,000 per week as the business continues to grow.
The new state-of-the-art factory will accommodate design, laser etching, embossing, lamination, perforation, cutting, sales, staff training, product presentations and showrooms, packaging, warehousing and international dispatch facilities.
For more information: www.bowleather.co.uk