CYCLE manufacturer Shand has “exciting” projects in the pipeline and will be on the search for investment to support these, as it looks to grow its production by 50 per cent next year.
The independent Livingston-based firm could also grow its workforce from six at present to meet this demand, according to director Russell Stout. He joined the company in 2011 for its relaunch after it was started by Steven Shand in 2003.
It now offers both hand-built and production bikes, with the Scottish terrain having influenced its range, Stout said. He noted the increased interest in cycling over the last five or six years, boosted by the London 2012 Olympics and high-profile cyclists such as Sir Bradley Wiggins and Scottish Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy.
Shand worked with Hoy after the athlete wanted a one-off British-made Keirin bike for himself. That track bike was created last summer in a collaboration between Hoy, Shand and Evans Cycles’ designer James Olsen.
Stout also said Shand has created a limited-edition track frame with Hoy to be sold by Evans Cycles next spring.
As to whether any other projects were on the cards, Stout said: “Watch this space” and added that the firm is looking to work more cleverly.
It has already scaled down a previous target of manufacturing 450 bikes a year as of next year, instead aiming to reach about 200 in that period. Large-scale ambition was “tempered” by the reality of meeting a high number of orders, Stout said, but he stressed that the company has been focusing on building its brand as having a real, niche focus on bikes. There is “lots of opportunity” to leverage this, he believes.
He added that about 20 per cent of the firm’s sales are coming from overseas, mostly from Germany and Scandinavia. There has also been growing interest in the US, with discussions having taken place with distributors there. “We can be global,” Stout said.