Global fibreglass shortage puts Falkirk business under threat

A union fears its members face an uncertain future due to the current world shortage of fibreglass.

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 12:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 12:40 pm

GMB Scotland says its union members in Carron Bathrooms, North Carron Works, Stenhouse Road, Carron Falkirk were among 80 members of staff left without work this week due to the fibreglass crisis, as the company shut down operations to await further supplies to arrive on site.

Fiberglass is used in many forms of manufacturing throughout the UK – including products for boat building, glass fibre reinforced polymer products, insulation and wind turbine blade manufacturing.

And with no manufacturing base for the product in the UK, GMB is now calling on the UK and Scottish governments to come up with an industrial strategy so local manufacturers do not have to rely on other countries for supply and miss out on vital contracts.

Carron Bathrooms has felt the impact of the global fibreglass shortage

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Gary Cook, GMB Scotland organiser, said: “We know there are supply chain problems for just about all raw materials and components, but security of fibreglass supply is arguably a national ‘must have’.

“Prices have doubled since last December and Europe’s biggest distributor can only get 30 per cent of what is needed. China is a large producer but is also using up supplies from the rest of the world to use on manufacturing wind turbines and all manner of GRP products. 

“The last fibreglass manufacturing left UK shores 25 years ago we need intervention from the UK government in supporting setting up of production plants or we will remain reliant on other countries for supply.

"This will undoubtedly lead to profitable companies with good order books going to the wall for no other reason than they cannot get the raw materials.”

Carron Bathrooms has a long and proud history – 1759 the original Carron Company formed ironworks on the banks of the River Carron and produced the world famous Carronade naval cannons.

In modern times Carron Bathrooms has been at the forefront of modern bath design and as techniques change and new processes emerge, it continues to produce baths with skill and precision, putting quality and craftmanship at the heart of its products and working practices.

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