Solway Recycling continues post-fire recovery with multi-million-pound project

A farm plastics recycling firm is continuing its recovery from a massive fire two years ago – pressing ahead with a new multi-million-pound project that is being backed in part by South of Scotland Enterprise (Sose).

Solway Recycling suffered significant damage during the blaze in May 2020 at its Dumfries base, but returned to operations within four weeks, and has since been busy rebuilding, and is working on a £3 million project to install a new product manufacturing facility and replace workshops and office units.

Sose has provided £500,000 towards the initiative, which will see a new production line introduced sustaining 21 existing jobs and creating six roles, with a further half-dozen expected to be generated over the next two years.

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Solway Recycling was set up by local farmer Roy Hiddleston in 1992 to re-process dirty farm plastics into useable products such as pig-pens, hen houses and kennels – enabling crucial links between agriculture and the green economy. Over the next five years, the firm expect to re-process enough waste farm plastics to circle the equator more than ten times.

Scottish Business Minister Ivan McKee recently visited the company as part of a tour of Dumfries and Galloway businesses. He said: “This investment will help Solway Recycling expand their workforce and play their part in helping Scotland reach our commitment of net-zero emissions by 2045, through their innovative and sustainable ways of working.”

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Mr Hiddleston commented: “With support from Sose, we believe the new facility will take our business forward, help us expand our dedicated team, and continue to positively contribute to the circular economy.”

Sose chair Professor Russel Griggs said: “We know that businesses in the South of Scotland are hugely resilient, having suffered a series of back-to-back challenges in the last two years… Solway Recycling is an excellent example of this determination, coming back from such a devastating fire in 2020.

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From left: Business Minister Ivan McKee and Solway Recycling boss Roy Hiddleston at the firm's Dumfries facility. Picture: Graham Edwards.

“I am delighted that Sose have been able to work with them to ensure the business survives, and, with its new facilities, I am sure thrive going forward.

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“With agriculture making up more than a quarter of all businesses in the South of Scotland, companies such as Solway Recycling are going to be so important to supporting the sector’s – and our region as a whole – move towards a sustainable future.”

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