Bonnybridge heating firm just getting warmed up as it celebrates its first decade

When two pals decided to leave Scottish Gas and set up their own business they did not know what the future would hold but they knew they would regret it if they bottled out.

By James Trimble
Thursday, 5th August 2021, 3:00 pm
Updated Saturday, 7th August 2021, 7:09 am

Graeme Hillier, from Glasgow, and Dougie Hunter, from Falkirk, began Heatsafe Heating Ltd 10 years ago, working out of their homes and slowly but surely building the business up until the were able to move to their current offices in Canalbank Estate, Seabegs Road, Bonnybridge.

They have now added to their workforce with fourth year apprentice Marc Welch, from Glasgow, and first year apprentice Harry Nixon, from Falkirk.

It has been a long journey over the last decade, which both Graeme and Dougie swear has “flown by”.

Sign up to our daily The Falkirk Herald Today newsletter

Heatsafe Heating Ltd directors Dougie Hunter and Graeme Hillier celebrate 10 years in business with apprentices Marc Welch and Harry Nixon

Both 39-years-old, the lads first met at college almost 20 years ago when they were apprentices at Scottish Gas.

The duo went on to work with the company for the next 10 years, Graeme covering Glasgow, while Dougie worked mainly in the Falkirk area.

“It was fine and we both got our training in,” said Graeme. “We never really worked together while we were with Scottish Gas, but we kept in touch with each other.”

They began talking about setting up a business of their own and in September 2011 Heatsafe Heating Ltd was born.

Graeme said: "We thought we had to give it a bash ourselves – we would have regretted it if we didn't give it a go.”

A two-man operation, the fledgling company survived the difficult early years and Graeme and Dougie realised they were actually ready to expand.

"The first couple of years were the difficult ones,” said Dougie. “When we got through them, we weren’t thinking about going on and being in business for 10 years – it’s been a quick 10 years.”

Read More

Read More
Former Falkirk cafe gets go ahead to become takeaway

Heatsafe is in such a strong position now, it managed to weather the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic and was busy throughout the lockdown period carrying out emergency jobs to ensure people had hot water to wash their hands during the unprecedented situation.

Now covering the whole of the central belt of Scotland, Heatsafe – having earned Which? Trusted Traders accreditation – carries out service, installation and repair of gas services, boilers and central heating systems in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Falkirk and Stirling and everywhere in between.

They are even in the running for the best plumbing and heating company in this year’s Scottish Home Improvement Awards with voting ending on Monday.

To mark their first decade in business Graeme and Dougie are running a £1000 giveaway on their Facebook page.

Now the lads are looking forward to another 10 great years.

"We’re just looking to build on what we have already,” said Graeme. “In the future we will look to take on a couple more apprentices. Our business model is all about looming to give young people a chance and train them up.”

As wells as support from loyal customers who recommend Heatsafe to family and friends, helping build up the companies good reputation through word of month, Graeme and Dougie also thanked the myriad of local companies and business which have helped and supported them over the years.

"We also thank our fiancees for putting up with us,” laughed Dougie.

Visit Heatsafe’s Facebook page for more information.

Thank you for reading this article on our free-to-read website. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

Please consider purchasing a subscription to our print newspaper to help fund our trusted, fact-checked journalism.