A WIND turbine maker is aiming to nurture the next generation of manufacturers and exporters after taking up residence in a former carpet factory in Roslin Glen.
The site, which produced tapestries for sale around the world until its closure in 1969, has found a new lease of life as the headquarters of Renewable Devices, maker of the roof-mounted Swift Turbine.
Director Dave Anderson said: “Scottish industry has led the world in the past and, if the Roslin carpet factory could sell its fabrics to Persia, we can stand on its foundations and create a renewable export industry that will add to the Scottish economy.”
Fellow director Charlie Silverton said the firm, which employs eight people, wanted to encourage more renewables start-ups by providing advice and workshop space to help them get off the ground.
He added: “We’ve got the space and facilities to help them get going. We’ve got room for seven or eight small firms here, and we have a small workshop where we can get things prototyped.
“What makes us different is that we’re not aiming to profit out of this. We just want people to stop going on about how we don’t manufacture and export anything any more.”
Since Renewable Devices was founded in 2002, the firm has sold about 2,500 of its Swift Turbines, with 80 per cent exported to Australia, Europe and the United States.
Silverton said: “There is an installed capacity of more than four megawatts, which is more than any other British wind, marine or solar manufacturer in the marketplace today.”
The company has supplied turbines for BP, Tesco and the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick, which acted as a research and development site. It has even joined Dolly the Sheep, another Roslin creation, by making it into the National Museum of Scotland.
With Swift production well established, and sales split evenly between corporate customers and the public, all efforts are now focused on developing a marine turbine. The device, called Capricorn, is designed to have no impact on marine mammals.
Renewable Devices also has plans to create a “centre of learning” at Roslin Glen to offer advice to those thinking about starting their own businesses.
Silverton said: “We want to help start-ups do what we did, which is get from prototype to export within a year.”