Construction will start next month on a new £36m “superfactory” in Gartcosh which will see 400 jobs relocate to the Monklands site.
Guala Closures, which manufactures bottle tops for the drinks industry, was unanimously given the green light for the new production plant at the area’s former steelworks site by members of the local authority’s planning committee.
It is now expected to begin operating in January 2024 – with council leader Jim Logue calling the development “a welcome addition to the area which cements North Lanarkshire as the place for business,” while constituency MSP Fulton MacGregor said the announcement was “big news for Gartcosh” and expressed the hope that it “will bring much-needed further regeneration and employment to the area”.
Described as “a world-leading producer”, the company manufactures a range of closures and bottle pouring mechanisms for spirits, wine, water and olive oil and is “the only manufacturer of closures to the whisky industry in Scotland” with customers including Diageo, Chivas, Edrington and William Grant.
Its planned new 220,000 square foot factory, on a 15-acre site at the area’s business interchange on Craignethan Drive, will merge the staff and work of Guala’s two existing sites in Kirkintilloch and another at Bridge of Allan; with the Gartcosh land being purchased from Scottish Enterprise and attracting a £3.3m grant from the national business body.
The new site will be one of the largest for the company, which has its headquarters in Italy, and will allow it to increase capacity and create research and development lab space.
Ken Moran, the company’s general manager for Scotland, said: “The new plant will benefit from investment in innovative technology, enhancing productivity, process capability, closure functionality, and contribute to the group’s sustainability strategy.
“This investment confirms Guala Closures’ commitment to developing one of its largest markets and underlines our determination to support customers, employees, suppliers and the Scottish economy.”
Councillor Logue said: “Guala Closures Group is a multi-million pound international business that understands the enormous benefits of relocating its Scottish arm to Gartcosh.
“The manufacturing plant will be a huge boost to the area, bringing a skilled workforce and state-of-the-art technology and innovation that underlines its commitment to the industry and the region.
“Inward investment has continued to strengthen in North Lanarkshire, despite the current financial climate and volatile market – and this positive news reinforces the demand for quality land with excellent transport connections that we can offer.”
Mr MacGregor, the Coatbridge & Chryston MSP, said: “I’ve had regular contact with Scottish Enterprise about this site and I’m pleased that there has been such a big investment here.
“The state-of-the-art £36m superfactory at Gartcosh business interchange includes investment from Scottish Enterprise; it should be ready in just over a year’s time and I hope it will bring much-needed further regeneration and employment to the area.”
Councillors on North Lanarkshire’s planning committee were told that “locations such as Gartcosh business interchange are the city region’s strategic response to delivering long-term economic growth”; a report noted that there were no objections or comments on the application during a month-long online consultation, and that the plans include a 332-space car park and wildflower planting area to increase biodiversity near the local nature reserve.
Giving unanimous approval, elected members agreed with officials that “the proposal accords with the development plan, represents a significant investment within North Lanarkshire and will activate a large area of Gartcosh business interchange into productive use”.
Business minister Ivan McKee said: “This long-term commitment to Scotland by a valued inward investor is excellent news – Guala are critical to the whisky industry in Scotland and this investment will safeguard 400 jobs [and] have a positive impact on the Scotch whisky supply chain.”
Jane Martin of Scottish Enterprise added: “This inward investment has been possible as a result of work to develop Gartcosh interchange into an international-class business and industry destination.”
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