Saltire to build 200 industrial units for SMEs

An Elgin-based developer is to deliver 200 industrial units tailored for small businesses across Scotland after unveiling an eight-figure investment.

The Saltire team at their new Edinburgh office. From left: Victoria Mungall, Harris Grant, Suzanne MacKintosh, Bryan Leslie, Duncan Martin and Alan Esson. Picture: Nick Mailer

Saltire Business Parks has acquired three sites and is targeting a further ten as it plans to invest £10 million by 2021 as part of a new development programme.

The investment is expected to generate up to 150 full-time jobs across the construction pipeline, as the company aims to deliver 200 industrial facilities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

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Units will range from 1,000 square foot to 10,000 sq ft and are specifically tailored to suit smaller firms.

They will include offers of flexible space and “simple” leases, with the goal of “helping businesses get operational as quickly and easily as possible”.

Construction is currently underway at sites in Dundee and Elgin, with development expected to start in Badentoy in the coming months.

Managing director Alan Esson told The Scotsman: “We’re looking to give people the opportunity to try and grow their business. These are designed for small and medium-sized businesses who need that flexibility and I’m very positive that there’s the potential here for jobs as these businesses grow.

“There’s a strong demand for these kinds of units – they are designed so that you can grow from one to two and all you have to do is take down the wall between. In Dundee we are building 16 units and there are eight under offer already.

“We also want the leases to be simple and short. Some contracts are 65 or 70 pages long and cost you thousands in legal costs; that’s a lot of money for a start-up or a small business.”

This comes as Saltire, which is supported by Springfield Properties chairman Sandy Adam, expanded its own footprint with the launch of a new capital base at Rutland Square in Edinburgh.

The company is currently in negotiations for several other potential developments, as it targets an additional ten industrial sites.

Esson added: “We’re not being Central Belt-centric, we are actively looking for sites across the whole of Scotland. There are budding entrepreneurs in places other than Edinburgh and Glasgow.

“There is a lack of industrial development across Scotland, but this problem is particularly acute for space between 1,000 and 5,000 sq ft.

“Scotland’s economy is built upon on the success of its SMEs, and they need the right type of space to thrive and grow.”