16th December 2019
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New future for 60 North plant after deal with John Lawrie Group

A new beginning is dawning over Rova Head in Lerwick following news troubled recycling centre 60 North has been taken over by Aberdeen business John Lawrie Group.

The mainland firm, which has taken over the daily running of the site, has promised new jobs and investment in new technology as a result of the deal.

It regards the local centre as strategically placed to support decommissioning in the oil and gas sector while continuing to meet local metal recycling requirements.

It follows news, which emerged in August, that the Aberdeen company had applied for a metal dealers licence at the 60 North address.

That came after persistent rumours in recent years that 60 North’s owner, Charlie Barton, had been looking to offload the site.

The speculation emerged after Mr Barton placed machinery from his businesses up for auction in 2015.

The business was founded by Ian Kinniburgh in 2001 and taken over by Mr Barton a decade later.

In 2014 60 North avoided bankruptcy when Mr Barton agreed a last minute deal to pay off nearly £200,000 in arrears.

The new deal takes John Lawrie Group’s overall licenced capability in Scotland to 225,000 tonnes of ferrous and non-ferrous metals per annum, with more growth in the pipeline.

All existing employees will be transferred over to the group and the company says plans for investment in new equipment and infrastructure have now begun.

The agreement is said to be fully in line with the group’s ambitious plans to deliver robust growth by expanding its recycling and decommissioning services into “new geographical locations” and broadening its customer base.

John Lawrie Group says it has obtained a waste management licence from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and a metal dealers’ licence from Shetland Islands Council which allow it to operate in the islands.

Operations director Dave Weston said; “We’re very pleased to be expanding our business into Shetland. This investment will help deliver an enhanced service to our existing and future customers, and will continue to create new employment opportunities in the area.”

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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