The innovative PPE manufacturer has started producing its own raw materials in-country following a £4.8m investment partnership with South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE), creating hundreds of new jobs
Leading Scottish PPE firm Alpha Solway, part of Globus Group, has begun the production of meltblown polypropylene, the virus filtering material used in its FFP2 and IIR facemasks, at the company’s newly built factory in Dumfries, Scotland.
The onshore production of this critical filter layer will ensure a reliable and resilient supply chain of PPE from Globus Group’s multiple sites across Britain and Europe. It is the latest initiative under the business’s long-term sustainability strategy to reach Net Zero by 2027 which includes a commitment to 75% UK manufacturing.
Alpha Solway launched the new £12m factory in just 10 months after it was awarded a unique multi-million-pound public-private investment partnership with SOSE. The company started work on the ground-breaking factory last summer, cementing the long-term future of manufacturing in the region and supporting the local community.
As a result, the business - one of the largest private sector employers in the South of Scotland - has created over 300 new positions at Gilnockie Business Park, Dumfries.
Alpha Solway’s new factory was visited last month by Ivan McKee, the Scottish Government’s Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, as part of a tour of a series of companies in Dumfries and Galloway.
The new factory is part of £33m Globus Group has invested into the region to date - with new manufacturing facilities producing world-class innovative PPE since the start of the pandemic, resulting in over 1,000 new roles in communities across the UK in the last two years.
As part of its commitment to sustainability, Globus Group will ensure all its European-made products launched after 2024 are net zero and will develop and implement a robust product life cycle management process with more than half of its customers.
With over 25 years’ heritage, Globus Group now produces one billion medical masks and 300 million FFP respirators per annum, and recently launched its innovative new transparent face mask. Approved by the DHSC, the cutting-edge product will help aid communication between frontline healthcare workers and their patients.
Alpha Solway Director Steven Binnie said: "Our customers continue to need a fast, resilient supply of PPE and launching this new facility is an important next step in our strategy to accelerate the access to vital products.
“We’re committed to continuing to support the healthcare sector as well as helping our economies recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic.
“We’re focussed on constantly improving and evolving our manufacturing processes by launching pioneering products and services and the opening of this new factory is a key step in enabling our ongoing sustainability strategy.”
South of Scotland Enterprise was launched on 1 April 2020 as the new economic and community development agency for Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders. It was established by the Scottish Government to drive inclusive growth, increase competitiveness and tackle inequality within the region.
Professor Russel Griggs OBE, Chair of SOSE said: “We are delighted that Alpha Solway have been able to launch their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Dumfries.
“The £4.8million support package SOSE provided the business last year demonstrates our commitment to secure the long-term future of manufacturing in the South of Scotland.
“It is great to see that our funding has been so effective in helping the organisation grow the number of employment opportunities available in the region significantly.
“The organisation’s commitment to reaching Net Zero by 2027 could also be hugely influential on other organisations and employers in the South, who we hope will feel inspired to make similar environmental pledges in the next few years.”
Business Minister Ivan McKee said: "It was great to visit Alpha Solway’s new manufacturing facility, their expansion has created over 300 new jobs, underlining the importance of the manufacturing of vital personal protective equipment to our economic recovery.
“The £4.8 million South of Scotland Enterprise investment demonstrates a commitment to secure the long-term future of manufacturing in Scotland whilst showing how public and private sectors can collaborate to address challenges caused by the pandemic.
“I also welcome Alpha Solway’s sustainability strategy to reach net-zero by 2027, which will help contribute towards a green, sustainable and prosperous Scotland.”