Falkirk butchers moving on for next 60 years

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Forget New Year resolutions, Falkirk firm Malcolm Allan is planning a multi-million pound industrial revolution.

The family business which celebrates 60 years in 2014 has closed a deal which will see it move from its current production centre at Tamfourhill to new state of the art premises in Larbert by the summer.

The switch will protect over 100 jobs and could even lead to one of Scotland’s top wholesale butchers expanding its workforce.

Work is already underway to make sure its new headquarters at Central Business Park are ready for the changeover timed to tie in with this year’s Royal Highland Show at Ingleston when Malcolm Allan’s major customers including superstore giants Asda and Tesco will be in town.

Bosses James and Gordon Allan are determined to be able to showcase Malcolm Allan’s new-look facilility which covers an impressive 25,000 square feet by then.

Making the move from Tamfourhill which has been ‘home’ to the business since the early 1990’s has taken five years of planning and only been made possible thanks to a substantial financial commitment by the company itself and the backing of Falkirk Council which is selling them the building and the Scottish Government’s Department of Rural Affairs who have helped with grant funding.

There is not a town in the country which does not have a shop selling Malcolm Allan products - whether it be their number one selling Lorne sliced sausage, award winning Braveheart steak pies, mince, pork, burgers, puddings or meatballs.

It is this reputation for providing traditional Scottish produce at its best which has driven the decision to invest heavily in a new base geared to maintaining the high standards the company has built its reputation on. It is the determination to remain a market leader, support the local jobs market and continue to deliver quality to supermarket customers across Scotland that has led to such a substantial investment in tough economic times.

After giving The Falkirk Herald a tour of its new address at Central Boulevard, Gordon Allan, said: “We’re making a move which had to be made.

“Having our entire operation apart from our bakery under one roof is going to take us onto a new level in a very competitive market place and put us in a very good position to meet the challenges that lie ahead.

“Around 2007 we looked at where we were and tried to see where the business and the economy was going. The years since then have brought various issues including difficult trading conditions which have had to be addressed. But we have always known our customers, for us repeat purchases have always been the key, so we know what they want and what they are prepared to pay and worked hard to deliver that combination of quality and price.

“I think given the market we operate in we have been punching well above our weight for years and the relocation to Larbert will not only provide a far better working environment for our loyal employees but also make us more efficient which in turn will allow us to continue to make sure our products remain compet-itively priced.

Our volume is up 12 per cent on last year so we know they remain as popular as ever.”

By 1992 Malcolm Allan owned 20 butcher shops across Falkirk district and even had outlets at the Gyle in Edinburgh, Linlithgow, Bathgate and Cumbernauld. It also supplied some of Scotland’s top hotels and restaurants with produce it sourced directly from the best livestock markets in the country.

But the trend towards supermarket shopping was already growing with more and more customers being attracted by the chance to do all their food shopping under one roof.

Realising a gap in the market was being created Malcolm Allan opted to quit the retail trade for wholesale supply and put its products on their shelves instead.

Gordon Allan added: “We saw the opportunity as absolutely the right thing to do and the bonus was that the vast majority of our employees agreed to make the change with us which meant we all stayed together.”