Saturday, June 28, 2014
The arrival of the latest international player in the offshore industry to Gorleston’s Beacon Park is being hailed as a “fantastic” boost to the local economy.
MacLean Electrical’s new purpose-built office and warehouse was officially opened by Bernard Williamson, Yarmouth Borough Council’s cabinet member for regeneration.
The specialist supplier of electrical equipment, which this year celebrated a record turnover of £150m, has moved to the town to build up its business in the southern North Sea.
Managing director Donald MacLean, whose father started the firm 40 years ago near Inverness, said: “We have been servicing the southern North Sea out of Scotland for the past 15 years, but decided we needed to commit ourselves to the area to further build up our business here.”
After arriving in the borough a year ago with three staff working out of a small office the company had rapidly built up its workforce to nine and he saw “great potential” to further grow the business in Gorleston.
He said he had been impressed by the quality of staff they had recruited locally; it was likely they would be taking on trainees in the future in line with the policy they had established in other areas.
As well as servicing the gas sector they would also be eyeing potential opportunities in the burgeoning offshore wind industry.
MacLean Electrical, which employs 250 people worldwide, has invested nearly £1.5m in what is their seventh base in the UK, providing 5,000sq ft of warehousing as well as offices.
The development, handed over in April, was designed by local architects the Paul Robinson Partnership and built by Wellington Construction; it has 50sq m of solar panels sufficient to provide all its lighting.
Highlighting the potential for further jobs, Mr Williamson pointed out that the new base was still only operating at one third of its capacity.
He said: “This is another major company coming in to supply the electrical side of the oil and gas industry and hopefully offshore wind too.
“With Hydra Rig up the road and other big companies looking to come in, it all adds up to a fantastic boost for the local economy; Beacon Park is becoming a major centre in the UK for the energy industry.”
Mr Williamson said it was testament to the vision of the council in the 1990s in paving the way for Beacon Park which was set to grow further in coming months with extra units, a new infrastructure road and a link road connecting the A12 to the A143 Beccles Road, work on which would start next month.
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