West Lothian team’s £1.2m helps to fund 170 new jobs

A total of 170 jobs have been created over the last 18 months on the back of support provided by West Lothian Council’s business support service.

Steedman (left) with Business Gateways Jim Henderson and West Lothian Councillor Cathy Muldoon. Picture: Greg Macvean

Business Gateway West Lothian said it has advised more than 20 local companies during the past one-and-a-half years and facilitated the investment of £1.2 million to help create 170 employment opportunities.

The service also provides support in areas such as business planning, marketing, e-commerce and human resources to help firms develop.

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Recent financial backing has included a £100,000 grant to Livingston-based Cameron Drywall Contactors, which enabled the company to boost its headcount from 40 to 62.

The fund will also support more than 20 young people from Cameron Drywall through their apprenticeships at West Lothian College during the next three years.

In addition to the grant funding, Business Gateway has pledged ongoing support to help the business to invest further in “innovative and sustainable” building techniques.

Richard Steedman, managing director of Cameron Drywall, was recently recruited by the Construction Industry Training Board’s National Council for Scotland as one of eight specialists to help shape construction and tackle skills issues.

He said: “We are immensely grateful to West Lothian Council’s Business Gateway team for all of the support we’ve received over the last two years.

“This has allowed us to take on more local staff, focus on developing new materials and build stronger relationships in the community in particular with West Lothian College who we are now working closely with in a number of ways, including running taster sessions for schools to give pupils in S3 and S4 an insight into the construction industry.”

Annual sales at Cameron Drywall have since grown to more than £5m.

Business Gateway West Lothian provides support and guidance to new and existing businesses. It resources include free workshops, seminars and advice designed to help start-ups and growth businesses planning to expand.