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Tile firm’s ten years of growth

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By Fiona Reid
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Tile firm’s ten years of growth

A SUCCESSFUL manufacturing firm has been looking back at its growth and activity over the last decade.

Russell Roof Tiles, based in Lochmaben, is marking its first anniversary since becoming independent, by reflecting on the huge changes in the last ten years.

Originally founded in its current 11-acre site in Halleaths in 1964 as The Annandale Tile Company, the company now employs nearly 60 staff in its Scottish plant.

It was acquired by Russell Building Products Ltd from CEMEX to Crown Global Equity which manufactures concrete roof tiles in the US and Mexico.

Managing director Andrew Hayward and his senior team have since led a decade of change. They have pushed ahead with huge developments across the whole firm, and all three of its sites, new product innovation, huge capital investment, new training facilities, a boosted technical team and investment in staff.

Over £24m has been put into developing and maintaining sites and plants, improving production speeds, increasing capacity, introducing new lines, and upgrading machinery. The Lochmaben site, in particular, has benefitted recently from an electrical upgrade and mechanical improvements across key machinery. In addition to which, new moulds have been purchased for the production line.

Furthermore, the company has increased its technical capabilities with a boosted dedicated technical team of four on hand to support customers. Graduate and apprenticeship programmes have been introduced to help tackle the skills gap and nurture the talent of tomorrow. The firm now has its own dedicated training facility on site, as well as offering RIBA CPD programme.

Russell Roof Tiles has also developed its own set of core company values and invested in supporting communities and staff local to its sites in Lochmaben and Burton on Trent. The company has created a community fund, provided student bursaries, staff match funding programmes and donated over £110,000 to causes and community projects.

Over the last ten years, their commitment to sustainability has also grown enormously and the firm is pushing ahead on its own green trajectory to become Net Zero by 2040.

Andrew Hayward, above, said: “In 2013, we set ambitious targets to drive down waste, recycle more, reduce energy consumption, and minimise our carbon footprint. Part of that push towards an improved sustainability performance involved making significant investment to ensure the business is fit for the future.”

In 2015 the company became the first UK roof tile manufacturer to achieve an “Excellent” rating for responsible sourcing, recognising the company’s dedication to sustainability.

Andrew added: “We have to lead by example and make our green commitment clear to customers, whilst encouraging wider supply chains to do the same.”

Expanding its product portfolio has enabled the company to be specified on massive projects, such as those for the MOD as well as Centre Parcs Leisure Project in Woburn.

The last ten years has seen huge leaps for the company which is now faced with unprecedented times, with labour and material shortages as well as rising costs, inflation, and tax increases, but Russell Roof Tiles continues to remain optimistic for the future.

Andrew said: “Over the last few years I have been delighted to lead such a dedicated team at Russell Roof Tiles, who have continued to innovate and achieve far above expectations.

“Despite the current short-term challenges our sector faces, I believe we can continue to transform our business to improve manufacturing efficiencies, and develop better products delivered in a more sustainable way and we’re looking forward to another decade of success.”

Dumfries and West, News

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