McLaren invests £3m in new Stirling packaging site

MCLAREN Packaging has announced a £3 million investment in a new luxury packaging facility in Stirling for subsidiary Blue Box Design.

Construction work has already started at the new 20,000 sq ft manufacturing, design and testing centre for Blue Box, which produces bespoke presentation boxes for the food, drink and luxury sectors.

McLaren acquired Blue Box Design in 2013. The business currently operates from 8,000 sq ft premises in Stirling, employs 30 staff and has annual revenues of £1.4 million. McLaren invested £350,000 in Blue Box Design’s current site last year, including a semi-automatic box-wrapping machine, digital cutting machines, a mezzanine floor and an LED lighting system.

The new investment, which has received regional selective assistance through Scottish Enterprise, will create 18 new jobs over a four-year period. The site and building have also been ‘future-proofed’ to allow for subsequent extension.

Blue Box Design managing director Duncan Robertson said, “This new facility will greatly improve ‘speed to market’ for our customers by reducing the packaging development cycle time from concept to delivery, thereby delivering production efficiencies and cost savings. It will expand our production capacity significantly, enable us to retain highly skilled staff and create new skilled jobs in central Scotland for young people through the creation of a design and new product development centre of excellence for the luxury packaging sector.

Donald McLaren, Michael McLaren and Duncan Robertson

“We see tremendous long-term value in a facility centrally-located within Scotland, between Edinburgh and Glasgow, close to the major operations of the whisky and food industries.”

Donald McLaren, managing director of McLaren Packaging added, “The investment in Blue Box Design’s new-build unit demonstrates the importance of our Stirling operation and our long-term commitment to the future of luxury rigid boxes within our product portfolio. Our overall aim is to increase McLaren Packaging’s turnover to £20 million by 2020 and this facility will make a strong contribution to achieving that goal.

“We foresee significant growth in demand for luxury hand-finished boxes and this expansion will allow us to offer a comprehensive portfolio of high-end presentation boxes to the market. There is significant client interest for increasingly elaborate and bespoke packaging and this venture will enable us to deliver on this opportunity. We are proud to be a wholly independent Scottish manufacturer providing high quality products to both global and local clients.”

Rhona Allison, director of company growth at Scottish Enterprise commented, “Demand for Scottish food, drink and other premium produce is on the increase as international consumers develop an appreciation of the quality and provenance of products backed by the Scottish brand. It is great to see the impact this is having on the Scottish supply chain.

“McLaren Packaging is a good example of a company benefitting from the trend towards luxury and premium Scottish produce and it is fantastic to be able to support this ambitious company as it enters its next growth phase.

“This funding will help the company expand its footprint in Stirling and provide a welcome increase in jobs. We look forward to continuing to work with the team at McLaren Packaging as it pursues its ambitious growth plans.”