A factory supporting disabled workers in North Lanarkshire celebrated its first birthday on United Nations’ International Day for Disabled people.
NL Industries was created after North Lanarkshire Council expanded its Beltane Products scheme to take over and run the former Remploy factory in Netherton.
In the past 12 months the factory has produced furniture for the Glasgow 2014 athletes village, furnishings for ships in the North Sea oil industry, supplied office furniture, donated bedding and cloth to disabled children in Malawi, serviced hundreds of fire extinguishers and created learning partnerships with schools and colleges.
Project manager Donella Duff said: “We have a five year business plan we are working to and have introduced new product lines and work streams into the business.
“We benchmark ourselves against other businesses within the market place, I think the quality speaks for itself and we have a multi-skilled work force which has helped us to diversify.”
Housing and social work convener Sam Love added: “It’s been a great year, the staff really enjoy coming to work and that’s the most important thing.
“In two or three years we should be at a break even point, but this project was never about making money, it was about giving people an opportunity.”
NL Industry workers are delighted with their new surroundings.
Textiles worker Jim Bissett from Bellshill said: “I started 24 years ago making industrial gloves and nowadays I’m making curtains, I really like my job and things have really taken off since the expansion.”
Furniture worker Jamie Graham from Holytown added: “I’ve worked on loads of different things over the last year and learnt lots of new skills. This Christmas is looking much brighter, and we are looking forward to the future.”