Manufacturing company’s plan to retain and grow Scottish Borders base backed by South of Scotland Enterprise

The L. S. Starrett Company has been awarded £181,000 by South of Scotland Enterprise towards a £500,000 investment project to accelerate its growth plans at its Jedburgh distribution facility.

The global company - which is a leading hole-saw seller in the UK and manufacturer of power tool accessories, saw blades, precision measurement tools and metrology equipment - is aiming to not only grow its current business in the UK but diversify into new sectors, particularly the food industry. This diversification will aim to create new skills, jobs and opportunities across the Scottish Borders in the coming years.

Positive news for Jedburgh

  • The announcement is welcomed news for both Starrett and Jedburgh, which have a long association since the US firm set up its UK factory in the Scottish Borders town in 1958.
  • Last year the business announced a restructure of its global manufacturing operations which resulted in over 100 jobs being put at risk but since then, Starrett’s new management team - supported by 78 staff at its Jedburgh base - have successfully begun to rebuild the business and have recorded 34% growth over the last 12 months.
  • The company is also supporting further development of skills and opportunities through the rental of factory space to the sustainable construction materials business IndiNature, who have announced the opening of its Borders manufacturing hub in 2022, with plans to grow its workforce to 30.
  • South of Scotland Enterprise provided £250,000 worth of funding to Indinature to support their move to Jedburgh to create their Borders manufacturing hub. SOSE also worked with the business in developing plans and assisting with sourcing suitable premises.

Professor Russel Griggs OBE, SOSE’s Chair

“We have been speaking to L. S. Starrett’s local management team alongside our partners since last year, but I am delighted we are now in a position to support the rebuild of their Jedburgh base.

“Starrett is such an important company for the local economy and community, with generations of local people working at the site since it opened over 60 years ago.

“The fact Starrett is not only looking to retain their factory but improve and grow it is hugely positive news for Jedburgh, alongside the creation of jobs by Indinature.

“Economic recovery is a key priority for SOSE, as well as looking ahead strategically at opportunities for our region, and this investment ticks both those boxes with the potential for further job creation and diversification in coming years.”

Starrett Finance Director Nicky Richardson

“Thanks to the support from SOSE we are now very excited and energised to accelerate our growth plans into new markets as part of our half million-pound investment in the Jedburgh site.”

The plans include a new product range recently launched which is aimed at the UK butcher and chef markets and is expected to launch across 12 countries in Europe over the next 12 months.

Starrett Commercial Director Robert McKechnie

“Diversification into these new markets will be challenging but SOSE’s support will allow us to recruit the best talent to join our great team and continue to drive the business forward.”