Scotts Precision Manufacturing is to more than double the size of its Lincolnshire factory this year after securing a substantial grant from the Rural Development Programme for England LEADER Fund.
The £275,000 “Slate Worx” expansion project began earlier this month with completion expected by July this year. Once completed the enlarged facility will help Scotts’ realise its ambitions of doubling its production levels over the course of the next 24 months.
The company which manufactures class-leading vegetable handling and harvesting machinery in Eastville, near Boston, has been granted planning permission for a 6,000 square foot building with overhead 5-ton crane, which will house its assembly area along with a two-storey office block and stores.
A minimum of four new full-time members of staff will also be recruited as part of the grant agreement over the next three years.
“We are very grateful to the team from Lindsey Action Zone LEADER Fund for helping to fund this exciting expansion plan,” says Derek Scott, managing director of Scotts Precision Manufacturing. “We are enjoying a really buoyant period with lots of interest in our Evolution Separator both in the UK and overseas, especially in the United States. Changes in pesticide regulations in the UK, with the banning of Diquat, has led to an unprecedented number of enquiries about our Trinity range of haulm toppers, so all in all everything is looking very promising for next year and beyond.”
As well as investing in the new building, Scotts are also purchasing a suite of new machinery to allow it to meet demand with new state of the art CNC lathe and a CNC press brake for folding steel on the company’s shopping list.
In addition to developing machinery for agricultural use, once the new factory is complete, Scotts will be able to drive forward the development of its Verge Harvester, an innovative piece of machinery to collect grass cuttings from roadsides and transfer it to biomass plants, where it can be transformed into electricity. Scotts successfully trialled its new machine with Lincolnshire County Council in the summer of 2018, receiving several enquiries from other local authorities as a result.
“Our verge harvester is unique, and we’ve had a lot of interest in the machine since the summer trial. Having the extra space and new staff members will allow us to develop the machine further and help other local authorities save money on their roadside grass cutting while also increasing the amount of cheap electricity they produce through processing their cuttings through biomass plants.”
Established in 1994, Scotts Precision Manufacturing specialises in the design and manufacturing of highly efficient vegetable handling equipment. Its products, such as the Evolution Separator, often feature in full handling line solutions supplied by leading manufacturers but can also be retrofitted by farmers looking to upgrade.