Oats company Stoats has opened a new factory in the former Greggs factory at Bilston Glen Industrial Estate, creating 28 new jobs.
Some of the 100 former Greggs employees who lost their jobs in May have been taken on at the new Stoats headquarters which will house 40 workers in total, adding to the company’s 12 members of staff. The move from its Edinburgh base at West Telferton will allow the Stoats to increase manufacture of its porridge oat bars.
Stoats managing director Tony Stone said: “We have come a long way since I began baking porridge bars in our family kitchen over 12 years ago. We’re really thrilled to be opening our own factory, where we can invest more in developing new products in both existing and new categories, as well as own label products.
“The new factory gives us the opportunity to realise our ambitious plans, including increasing distribution across the UK and internationally. We can be more agile in our approach and we’re better placed to meet the demands of retailers and consumers.”
A New Product Development Kitchen is being installed on site, due to open in Spring 2018, which will allow Stoats to host schools and educational groups, with a focus on healthy eating.
Funding for the new factory was supported by Midlothian Regional Selective Assistance and HSBC Bank.
Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for economic development, Councillor Russell Imrie (Lab), welcomed the move, he said: “We are delighted that Stoats have decided to relocate at Loanhead, allowing them to expand their operations, invest in new products and secure local jobs.
“They are a welcome and prestigious addition to Midlothian’s business sector.”
Susan Rowand, HSBC head of business banking in Scotland, said: “It’s fantastic to see a Scottish brand continue to expand with a new factory enabling an increase in both production and distribution. We were more than happy to enable Stoats to realise their UK and international growth ambitions through its new factory.”
Stoats is an independent company owned and operated by managing director Tony Stone and director, Bob Arnott. The business partners, both from Edinburgh, established the company in 2005 and are now on track to reach a turnover of £10m by 2020, working with major retailers including Tesco, Waitrose, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s.