Digital loan fund hands out its 100th loan to cutting edge metal business

Published

13th October 2020

A government interest-free loan scheme that aims to boost digital capabilities has awarded its one hundredth loan to Scottish SMEs.

The recipient of the £100,000 Digital Development Loan is Dundee headquartered METALtech UK, a metal fabrication company.

The business 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 in Dundee, Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre, Glasgow's SSE Hydro 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.

The workplace has 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).

This 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 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.

Its goal is to help Scottish SMEs improve productivity, capacity and the skills of their people through 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.

METALtech UK managing director Wattie Milne 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 allows 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.”

DSL executive director Stuart Yuill said: “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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