Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  


40 New Jobs Expected In Five Years As Ashley Ann, Wick Plans Further Growth

30th January 2020

Photo Gallery

Photograph of 40 New Jobs Expected In Five Years As Ashley Ann, Wick Plans Further Growth

A Caithness company is planning to invest more than £2m in its Wick plant, in a move that could see up to 40 new jobs created in the town over the next five years.

Family-run Ashley Ann Ltd (AAL) designs and manufactures kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms.

The firm has secured up to £400,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). This will help fund building works and alterations and the installation of additional specialist manufacturing equipment.

Along with other investment by the company, this will enable it to increase capacity and output. As a result, turnover is expected to increase by almost £10m within five years with around 40 new jobs created at its factory in Wick over the same period.

HIE has worked with AAL throughout most of its history, providing advice and support on plans for growth.

Confirming this latest HIE investment, the organisation's business growth account manager Hilary Budge, said:

"AAL has been a major employer in Caithness for nearly 30 years and has grown steadily over the years.

"This next stage in the firm's growth will provide valuable security for existing employees as well as generating more valuable employment. It will increase the contribution the company makes to the local economy and strengthen community resilience in Wick.

"I am pleased we are able to support this venture and look forward to continuing to work with the company in its growth journey."

AAL was formed in 1986 by Stephen and Ellen Bremner, initially operating from a small workshop in Thurso. In 2007 it moved to larger premises in Wick, previously occupied by Grampian Records. The firm then leased additional warehouse space in the nearby former Caithness Glass building, which it then bought in 2018, with HIE support.

Stephen Bremner, chairman of Ashley Ann Limited, said: "The long-term support from HIE has not only helped us on a financial level, but their expertise across a range of business disciplines has also helped give us the further confidence needed to forge ahead with our growth plans. We're already the largest private employer in Caithness, so the additional increase in our workforce is a strong demonstration of our commitment to the region's economy."

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:"I am pleased to see this significant investment in Ashley Ann Ltd's Wick plant and the new employment opportunities it will create. Manufacturing offers high-quality, skilled jobs, particularly in rural areas, which is one of the reasons why we are committed to supporting its growth.

"Investment in projects like this is vital to encouraging more people to choose to live and work in communities such as Caithness."


(L-R) Eann Sinclair (HIE area manager), Gavin Bremner (AAL), Carroll Buxton (HIE interim chief executive), Scott Bremner (AAL), and Prof Lorne Crerar (chair of HIE)

Photographer credit Angus Mackay


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Hie Welcomes New Business FundThumbnail for article : Hie Welcomes New Business Fund
The Early Stage Growth Challenge Fund, announced today (10 July) by Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop, will open to applications on Monday 20 July.   It is part of the £230m economic stimulus package launched by the Scottish Government in June.  
Go-ahead For Space Hub Sutherland Starts Countdown To Launch Of Orbex Prime From ScotlandThumbnail for article : Go-ahead For Space Hub Sutherland Starts Countdown To Launch Of Orbex Prime From Scotland
The first orbital spaceflight from the United Kingdom has come a step closer following the Highland Council's decision to give the go-ahead for the Space Hub Sutherland spaceport.  Orbex, the UK-based space launch company, has confirmed that Orbex Prime will be the first vertical launch vehicle to fly into orbit from the Space Hub, which will be constructed near Melness on the northern coast of Scotland.  
Planning Application Lodged For New Innovation Centre On Inverness CampusThumbnail for article : Planning Application Lodged For New Innovation Centre On Inverness Campus
The proposed 2700m² facility is a joint project between Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the University of the Highlands and Islands.   Designed by multi-disciplinary design firm Austin-Smith: Lord, it aims to build on the successes of the Centre for Health Science in the grounds of Raigmore Hospital.  
Chair Of HIE Welcomes Advisory Group ReportThumbnail for article : Chair Of HIE Welcomes Advisory Group Report
The chair of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has welcomed the recommendations of the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery.   Alistair Dodds said the report underlined the potential of rural regions to make a strong contribution Scotland's economic recovery.  
Tough Decisions Required At Cairngorm MountainThumbnail for article : Tough Decisions Required At Cairngorm Mountain
The public body responsible for Cairngorm Mountain acted appropriately when selecting a private company to manage the resort, but tough decisions on its future are now required.   Cairngorm Mountain Limited (CML), which operated the mountain's winter sports and leisure activities, went into administration in 2018 following the closure of the funicular railway due to structural problems.  
Innovation boost for construction and manufacturingThumbnail for article : Innovation boost for construction and manufacturing
Innovation is fundamental to business growth and diversification.  It is also absolutely essential in Scotland's economic recovery as we emerge from the impacts of COVID-19.  
Caithness Voluntary Group Awarded £200,000 From The Aspiring Communities Fund Of The European Community
Eleven community organisations in the Highlands and Islands have been awarded a total of £1.5m to develop and deliver long-term solutions to tackle poverty based on local priorities and needs The Aspiring Communities Fund, which levers in European Social Funds, was launched by the Scottish Government in 2017 to help reduce poverty and enable inclusive growth in disadvantaged and fragile communities across Scotland.   Regional development agency, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), helped community organisations in the region to apply to this recent round of funding.  
Works To Resume On Inverness Campus As Lockdown EasesThumbnail for article : Works To Resume On Inverness Campus As Lockdown Eases
Fibre communications infrastructure firm, CityFibre, is due on site this week to resume connection works at its fibre hub based on the Campus.   NHS Highland is set to begin ground works in preparation for a major development over three plots.  
Winners Announced In The North Atlantic Corona ChallengeThumbnail for article : Winners Announced In The North Atlantic Corona Challenge
The 48-hour challenge was aimed at 18-30-year olds from the north Atlantic region (Greenland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Coastal Norway and Scotland).   Their task was to come up with ideas and develop solutions to save communities, save businesses and save lives during and beyond the COVID-19 crisis.  
IoT online demonstration for Highlands and Islands businesses
Businesses in the Highlands and Islands looking to boost their productivity and competitiveness through Internet of Things (IoT) technology, are being offered the chance to hear from industry experts.   Internet of Things technology enables devices, such as everyday objects, machinery and systems to connect to the internet.