A firm that aims to make the renewable energy business more environmentally friendly expects to create high skilled jobs in Argyll after winning a landmark funding award.

Renewable Parts, which refurbishes equipment used on wind turbines and the like, said it plans to hire at least five people this year to work on projects in its Lochgilphead base.

The recruitment drive comes after the company was awarded £171,000 funding by Zero Waste Scotland. The company was the first wind sector SME to get funding from the body for a circular economy project.

Renewable Parts, which has an operations centre in Renfrew, will use the money for refurbishment projects developed out of Lochgilphead in conjunction with its research partner the University of Strathclyde.

Chief executive James Barry said: “The opportunity to improve recycling rates within the wind industry is significant.”

He said the award provided a huge vote of confidence in Renewable Parts and the innovation programme it is driving with the university, in what is seen as a growth industry for Scotland.

“The renewable energy sector is already playing a huge role in decarbonising Scotland’s economy,” noted Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland. “It’s fantastic to work with a business that will help Scotland go even further by making the renewable energy supply chain more sustainable.”

Founded in 2011 by entrepreneur Ewan Anderson, Renewable Parts has built a £5m turnover business working with a customer base that ranges from giants operating big wind farms, such as ScottishPower Renewables, to farmers with one turbine.

It has 15 employees currently.

The funding was provided under a £73m Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme run by ZWS, with support from the European Regional Development Fund.