Karen Betts opening Blue Box Design

New design and manufacturing facility in Stirling opened by SWA CEO

31 Oct 2018

Blue Box Design's new state-of-the-art design and manufacturing facility has been officially opened by Karen Betts, Chief Executive, Scotch Whisky Association.

A specialist designer and manufacturer of bespoke presentation boxes for Scotch Whisky and luxury products, Blue Box Design received Regional Selective Assistance through Scottish Enterprise for the £3 million project which will create an additional 10 jobs over the next four years.

Speaking at the official opening ceremony, Karen Betts added:

"Blue Box Design's new facility reflects the ambition of the Scotch Whisky industry to harness future global growth. The sort of investment you see today at Blue Box Design is illustrative of the investment going into the industry and the critical companies that make up our supply chain.

"This investment is great for local jobs. It also showcases innovation and the link between the food and drink industry and creative industries.

"Blue Box Design's new facility adds to the already sizeable positive impact the Scotch Whisky industry has right across Scotland and, with Scotch Whisky exports in the first half of 2017 up by 10.8% to almost £2bn, that positive impact looks set to continue.

"I am delighted to open a new facility that showcases Blue Box Design's and McLaren Packaging's success."

Blue Box Design Managing Director Duncan Robertson said:

"This new 20,000 sq ft facility at Broadleys Business Park greatly improves our 'speed to market' for our customers by reducing the packaging development cycle time from concept to delivery. It will expand our production capacity significantly and enable us to retain highly skilled staff whilst creating new jobs in Central Scotland.

"We see tremendous long-term value in a facility centrally-located within Scotland, between Edinburgh and Glasgow, close to the major operations of the whisky and food industries."

Blue Box Design is a subsidiary of Port Glasgow-based premium drinks industry supplier McLaren Packaging which employs over 150 staff with annual revenues in excess of £20 million.

Donald McLaren, Managing Director, McLaren Packaging, said:

"Our decision to invest in this facility has been influenced by the continued success of the Scotch Whisky industry globally and the demand for premium packaging produced sustainably. The sum invested in the new facility is the single largest investment made by the company in 20 years.

"Scotch Whisky operates in a global brown spirits market that is currently growing in popularity and competes for market share with Japanese, American and Irish whiskies, all of which are performing strongly.

"As a supplier we compete in a global packaging market, therefore it is critical for us to move with the trends, invest and leverage our location and expertise in order to deliver competitive advantage in a sustainable way for our business and customers.

"There is significant client interest for increasingly elaborate and bespoke packaging and this venture will enable us to deliver on this opportunity. We are proud to be a wholly independent Scottish manufacturer providing high quality products to both global and local clients."

The new facility was in inspired by McLaren Packaging's late founder and packaging innovator Jim McLaren.