A series of contract wins worth more than £1 million has underpinned the success of an Angus specialist stone firm.
Denfind Stone will supply material from their Pitairlie Quarry near Monikie to flood protection schemes at Broughty Ferry and Hawick, following the firm’s involvement in the Stonehaven flood protection scheme.
The firm has also been appointed to supply paving stones for the Inverkeithing town centre regeneration project.
Director Brian Binnie said investment in equipment and facilities at the site had allowed the company to increase capacity and win larger contracts throughout Scotland.
He said: “During lockdown, we worked very hard to secure the flood defence work and the Inverkeithing project takes us back to the original purpose of the quarry, which supplied paving stones.”
“These contracts really put us on the map for this kind of work and also give us piece of mind.
“It is underpinning our other work, including the production of 40mm cladding stone which has seen sales pick up significantly this year.
“Our bread and butter work continues and our stone is very popular with house builders, especially in Perthshire.”
The majority of the 15-strong workforce had been furloughed during the pandemic lockdown while construction ground to a halt, but are now back on site and the company is now looking for an additional member of staff.
Lockdown has also seen the completion of a 625 sq m industrial unit, allowing the company to optimise its operations.
Mr Binnie said: “We have imported a specialist guillotine from Italy and purchased other equipment representing a combined investment of £110,000.
“We are allowed to produce around 5,000 tonnes of material per year, which is quite low in comparison to some of the larger quarry firms out there, so we are punching above our weight – especially as the quarry only reopened in 2004 and took time to become established.”
Denfind Stone is also working in collaboration with Dundee University on the development of a new cladding system which can be rapidly installed on site.
While the pandemic may have slowed progress on the innovative project, Mr Binnie said it is “just about there”.
The director said the firm’s products “tick all of the boxes when it comes to government policy”.
He added: “We are a local business with sustainability and using indigenous stone.
“The carbon footprint of using natural stone products is much lower than man-made composite material, and it hasn’t been transported half way around the world to get here – the price is competitive too.”
The firm’s safe-working policies have also been recognised with a national award for health and safety standards by the Institute of Quarrying.
The company also played a key role in establishing the Scottish Stone Group.
The group, which was the subject of a parliamentary debate in the Scottish Parliament in 2018, aims to promote the use of natural stone, share innovation and engage with research to enhance the value of the industry.
The company’s quarry most likely began operations in the mid-19th Century but work ceased in 1915, and it lay dormant for almost a century.