AN Inverness windows manufacturer has warned that Brexit is casting a shadow over its best start to the year in two decades as domestic customers hold off finalising orders.

Cairngorm Windows said new machinery has helped boost its workbook but that there is a delay in completion with some domestic customers.

David Dowling, managing director, said: “People carrying out house improvements are approaching us, but Brexit is delaying them from pressing the button.

“In addition, our German fitted kitchen supplier have notified us of a 2.5 per cent import duty tax on all deliveries after March 29, in the absence of a deal going through.

“However, we’ve a record-breaking forward workbook thanks to the strong volume of orders from housebuilders, while council contracts are at their highest level in ten years.”

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The firm, which employs 100, had a new £350,000 computer operated cutting machine fitted last month to further drive forward its production process, which saw a record 25,000 windows manufactured in 2018.

Mr Dowling said: “Our flying start to the year means we’re projecting to produce 27,500 windows this year. The aim is to break the 30,000 barrier in 2020.”

He added: “Housebuilders like Tulloch Homes, Springfield Homes, Compass and Scotframe have significantly stepped up their forward orders, which is extremely satisfying.

“We’re selling windows as far away as Swindon.

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“We’ve a strong domestic business, where we supply and fit from fitted windows to fitted kitchens. But customers are currently telling us they’re holding off the spend because of Brexit causing uncertainty to household budgets.

“We hope that situation clears before too long.”