A family business which has been working from Lochaber for over 50 years has opened a new operations headquarters at Annat in Fort William.
Ferguson Transport, which over the years has expanded from road haulage to offering shipping, craneage, warehouse and storage services, supports many key businesses working in the area.
The multi-award winning company has been working with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) on the ambitious £1.2 million facility. As well as their own investment package the business has attracted over £180,000 from HIE, and more than £120,000 through building and development grants from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
“Bringing all our operations together at this state of the art property has huge benefits for Fergusons. Having our maintenance and service facilities, yard and offices in this one space will make us more efficient, put us right on the doorstep of three of our major customers and give us scope to expand our business into the future,” said Alasdair Ferguson, Managing Director of the firm.
He added: “The move to our new premises has gone very smoothly and thanks to a tremendous team effort by all our staff. A special tribute must be made to the main principal contractor RE Campbell Joinery of Spean Bridge, which has done a tremendous job on time and on budget, supported by a number of local firms throughout the build period. The financial support we received from HIE and the ERDF was crucial in the decision to go ahead with this significant investment despite the current economic climate. As a company we are determined to continue to invest; in the future with plans for steady growth in mind; in our employees who are invaluable to the success of our business; and in our customers.”
The business, which employs 90 plus staff, provides an integrated road and sea transport service through their Kishorn port facility. Their main contracts support the region's timber and aquaculture industries with their clients serving international markets.
Helen Cameron of HIE said: “HIE is delighted to be working closely with Ferguson Transport and to have supported the creation of a facility which will make such a practical impact on their business, and that of their customers. The growth of the company in recent years is testament to the capabilities of the family group, who are passionate about seeking out new markets and providing good customer care. Offering hands-on support to businesses which want to grow is one of HIE's main priorities.”
Note to editor
HIE's role is to develop sustainable economic growth across the region. To achieve this it creates infrastructure for future investment, assists large and small businesses with growth aspirations and has a unique role strengthening communities, particularly in fragile areas.
HIE supports the growth ambitions of business and social enterprise clients by creating close working relationships in order to accelerate growth in turnover, profitability, wage levels, exports and therefore Gross Value Added (GVA) in the HIE area.
HIE also invests in transformational projects across the region to make the Highlands and Islands a more competitive and attractive place to live, work, study and grow.
The region covered by HIE takes in more than half of Scotland, and is home to around 440,000 people. See www.hie.co.uk for more information.
[There is a photograph from the opening to accompany this story. It can be downloaded free at www.scottishviewpoint.info/fergusontransport]