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Greenfold eyes jobs growth after £400,000 support

THE company developed out of the remnants of the former Simclar manufacturing business expects to create 65 jobs after winning £400,000 official support.

Greenfold Systems was awarded Regional Selective Assistance by Scottish Enterprise in the latest round of the funding scheme.

The agency made the award after assessing ambitious expansion plans drawn up by Dunfermline-based Greenfold following a successful first 18 months in business.

Greenfold was formed to acquire the Scottish manufacturing operations of Simclar Group, which was placed in administration by its founder Sam Russell in June 2011. The move was followed by the loss of 138 jobs in Dunfermline.

In 2007 Mr Russell closed the Simclar Ayrshire business with the loss of 420 jobs at plants in Irvine and Kilwinning.

Told of Greenfold's RSA award by the Herald, Mr Russell said: "That's good news for the boys in Dunfermline. I hope everything goes well for them."

He declined to comment further.

After paying £134,000 for the Simclar operation, Greenfold took over work the company had done producing parts for Alexander Dennis, the Falkirk-based bus manufacturer. The company hired around 70 former Simclar employees.

Managing director Bob Waterson praised Alexander Dennis for being supportive of Greenfold Systems.

Helped by winning work from other customers, the company has increased employee numbers to 84. It has annual turnover of around £2.5m.

Mr Waterson said the company plans to hire more staff to support plans to increase turnover by £4m over the next two or three years. The company has started recruiting.

One of the shareholders in Greenfold Systems, Ivan McKee, praised Scottish Enterprise for helping the company make a good start.

"It's gone really well. Part of the reason is we have had some really good support from Scottish Enterprise," he said.

A Glasgow-born engineer, Mr McKee has interests in manufacturing operations in England and Eastern Europe.

Sam Russell became one of Scotland's best known entrepreneurs after starting Simclar in his garage in Fife in 1976.

The company employed more than 1,000 in Scotland at its peak.

In April last year Mr Russell and two other former directors of Simclar Ayrshire agreed an out of court settlement with liquidators who were seeking to recover £3m dividends declared by Simclar Ayrshire in June 2006.

An American investment business, Balmoral Funds, recently bought the assets of the Simclar Inc subsidiary in the US for an undisclosed sum.

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