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Firm in £3m bounce back after blaze

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Firm in £3m bounce back after blaze

A RECYCLING firm near Dumfries has revealed expansion plans and new jobs as it continues to recover from a devastating fire two years ago.

Solway Recycling at Shawhead suffered significant damage in a blaze in May 2020.

They returned to operations within four weeks and since then the firm has been busy rebuilding the business, including a new £3 million project to install a state-of-the-art product manufacturing facility and replace workshops and office units.

There will be a new production line which will create six jobs, as well as sustaining the 21 existing jobs. And there are hopes that more posts will be created over the next two years.

Solway Recycling was set up by farmer Roy Hiddleston in 1992 to re-process dirty farm plastics into useable products such as pig-pens, hen houses and kennels. It operates a national farmers recycling service and also helps farmers comply with new farm waste laws.

Roy said: “After the fire, we were determined to come back as soon as possible.

“Two years on, thanks to the dedication and hard work of all our team, we are charging on with our product manufacturing facility.

“We believe the new facility will take our business forward, help us expand our dedicated team and continue to positively contribute to the circular economy.”

Scottish Business Minister Ivan McKee, above right with Roy, visited Solway Recycling recently as part of a tour of Dumfries and Galloway businesses.

He heard that over the next five years, the company expects to re-process enough waste farm plastics to circle the equator over ten times, making a significant Net Zero contribution.

Afterwards Mr McKee said: “It is fantastic that Solway Recycling’s new facility is soon to be completed after the damaging fire.

“This investment will help Solway Recycling expand their workforce and play their part in helping Scotland reach our commitment of Net Zero emissions by 2045, through their innovative and sustainable ways of working.”

South of Scotland Enterprise has provided £500,000 towards the project and chairman Professor Russel Griggs said: “We know that businesses in the South of Scotland are hugely resilient, having suffered a series of back-to-back challenges in the last two years, from COVID-19, the impact of the Ukraine war and now soaring energy and fuel prices. “Solway Recycling is an excellent example of this determination, coming back from such a devastating fire in 2020.

“I am delighted that SOSE have been able to work with them to ensure the business survives, and with its new facilities, I am sure thrive going forward.”

The 2020 fire at Solway Recycling


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