One of the few remaining foundries in Scotland has been sold to employees to ensure its long-term survival.
Denny-based Specialised Castings, which manufactures bespoke castings in iron and aluminium, is the last large-scale foundry operating in the Falkirk district, the former heartland of the industry.
”I couldn’t be responsible for allowing the last foundry in the area to go. By selling to the employees, Specialised Castings will stay in Denny for the forseeale future” (Retiring managing director Steve Waring)
Owner Steve Waring decided to sell the business to its 35 staff to ensure its future in the town.
Mr Waring, who retires this month, considered a trade sale but later rejected that option.
“I may have achieved a better price but I couldn’t be responsible for allowing the last foundry in the district to go,” he said.
“By selling to the employees, Specialised Castings will stay in Denny for the foreseeable future, keeping the foundry tradition alive and providing real employment for generations to come.”
Specialised Castings was etablished in 2001 in a former Denny paper mill on the banks of the Carron following the collapse of Falcom Catering, which was based in Foundry Loan, Larbert.
Falcon was itself set-up following the closure of the world-famous Carron Company in 1982.
Mr Waring said he was alerted to the idea of employee ownership by one of his customers, Clansman Dynamics, which was sold to its staff in 2009.
The firm put him in touch with Carole Leslie, an employee ownership specialist.
“Selling to employees is an ideal exit route for a business owner who is keen to protect the legacy and culture of the firm. The staff now have a stake in ensuring the successful future of the company,” she said.
Ms Leslie assisted in the appointment of a new managing director to replace Mr Waring. Alan Nicholson, who has a lifetime of experience working in the foundry industry, will take charge this month.
“I’ve worked in an employee-owned business before and I know that when staff have a stake in the business, they are aligned with the objectives and work harder to deliver them. I’m really looking forward to working with Specialised Castings, It’s a great company with a great future.”
Office manager Beth Legere, from Bonnybridge, has been elected to serve as trustee on the company’s employee ownership trust.
“It’s a tremendously exciting time for the company and I think I speak for all of us to say that we’re looking forward to the challenge.
“The trust will be a major shareholder of the company, and it will be the role of the trustees to ensure the company is run properly.”
Foundry competes in a global marketplace