Scottish businesses benifit as 100th Digital Development Loan is awarded

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£100,000 loan for ambitious Dundee based metal fabrication company will accelerate growth plans

THE Scottish Government’s Digital Development Loan fund has awarded its 100th loan to Scottish SMEs.

The recipient of the £100,000 loan is Dundee-headquartered METALtech UK, a highly experienced and well-respected metal fabrication company that designs, supplies and installs high-quality carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminium fabrications to the construction, oil & gas, and manufacturing industries throughout the UK.

Projects the company has been involved with include the V&A Museum, Dundee; Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre; SSE Hydro, Glasgow and it is currently working on the new V&A Museum Collections and Research Centre in London.

The privately-owned business, which has a turnover in excess of £4m, employs 45 highly skilled employees and operates from a modern 36,000 sq ft facility comprising of a purpose-built carbon steel workshop, a standalone ‘clean’ workshop to facilitate all stainless steel and aluminium fabrications ensuring there is no potential for cross-contamination between products, and a 10,000 sq. ft precision cutting and profiling workshop.

The loan will facilitate the purchase of a CNC Plasma Cutting Machine including an Intelligent Real-Time Information System (IRIS) which will provide remote access to live data and statistics allowing the business to monitor and control the machine to maximise the cutting capacity, minimise machine downtime and improve efficiency and reduce costs.  This new technology will allow the company to grow further by undertaking previously outsourced profile cutting that can now be completed in-house. Increased and improved digital skills will also result from the training provided on the new equipment.

The Digital Development Loan Fund, which is managed by Lanarkshire Enterprise Services Ltd (LESL) in partnership with DSL Business Finance Ltd (DSL), is the Scottish Government’s Digital Growth Fund initiative which has the goal of helping Scottish SMEs improve productivity, capacity, and the skills of their people through a digital application.

One hundred SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) have benefitted from the fund which offers companies 0% interest rate loans of up to £100,000 to invest in improving their digital capabilities, capacity, and digital skills

Other sectors to benefit include agriculture and fisheries, food and drink, manufacturing, energy and renewables, and the creative industries.

Wattie Milne, Managing Director at METALtech UK said: “Accessing the Digital Development Loan fund allows us to invest directly into new technology and training which will mean that we are capable of undertaking larger contracts than before and also to process more complex projects which in the past, we have sub-contracted outside the business.  The new equipment’s digital capabilities allow our skilled staff to monitor more real-time production and processing data, programme it to undertake more complex projects, and improve efficiencies. As a result, it will have a significant impact on the whole business and is part of our overall growth strategy.”

Kate Forbes, Cabinet Secretary for Finance Scottish Government  “I am delighted to share that the Digital Development Loan has recently awarded its 100th loan to METALtech UK Ltd.  The funding will go towards the purchase of a CNC Plasma Cutting Machine which will increase output by 50%. The pandemic has highlighted the importance for businesses to harness the opportunities for digital technologies to drive productivity, support growth, and increase resilience. SMEs are the backbone of our economy and every business is in some way a digital business, which is why the Scottish Government is committed to supporting businesses to improve their digital capabilities. I am pleased to support the Digital Development Loan, offering loans between £5k – £100k which helps businesses invest in their digital capabilities, their workforce, and their future.”

Stuart Yuill Executive Director DSL “DSL is delighted to have worked with LESL to provide METALtech UK Ltd with its Digital Development Loan. The investment in leading-edge equipment enables the business to improve efficiency, increase capacity, and expand its product range all of which position the company for future success.”

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