Fife politicians find out about the future of manufacturing in the region

Councillors pay a special visit to Havelock Europa in Kirkcaldy 

Fife councillors, including Council leader David Ross, have paid a special visit to Havelock Europa at John Smith Business Park and Michelston Industrial Estate in Kirkcaldy to get a better understanding of the future of manufacturing in the region.
They were given a special insight into what lies ahead for the industry in Fife from the commercial interiors specialist, which is currently investing in a new business structure and an Enterprise Resource Planning project.
During the visit, the councillors were shown how Havelock Europa has developed new retail and lifestyle customers – growing a significant pipeline of opportunities in response to recent business challenges. havelockvisit16
The firm has expanded its design capability to develop the new customer pipeline and is set to launch a London design office to further increase coverage.
Havelock Europa, which employs 417 in the area, is also consolidating its position in the public sector through innovation and is developing its product lines of healthcare and education furniture. It’s also continuing to invest in the local economy and the next generation by providing invaluable training opportunities.
The company runs an academy each year to identify and develop talent among young people in Fife, as well as those looking to retrain. This provides work experience across a diverse range of roles, including HR, finance, carpentry and joinery, wood machining and fabrication. The academy has so far brought 20 young people into the business and forms the basis of its Modern Apprentice programme.
Councillor Lesley Laird, Fife Council’s depute leader & spokesperson for economy & planning, who took part in the visit, said: “I was very impressed with the renewed focus that Havelock is taking in developing their business. Stronger marketing and customer focus is already showing very positive results and opening up opportunities for new products and expansion into new markets.

havelock2“Havelock have also been active in employability programmes, and the Havelock Academy is an innovative and important initiative that passes on skills and experience to the next generation. The scheme offers young people Modern Apprenticeships training, guidance and the support needed to develop valuable workplace skills.

“Their move to the premises in Kirkcaldy has provided the perfect launch pad to take the business forward and to continue to make a significant contribution to Fife’s economy.”
Havelock CEO David Ritchie said: “I am pleased to have hosted the visit by Fife Councillors to our head office in Kirkcaldy. We are working on a number of customer-facing growth initiatives and I welcomed the Councillors’ interest in the new workplace skills that will be required by some of these projects.
“The Councillors were also introduced to three of our apprentices at the factory to hear first-hand of their own learning experiences at Havelock as part of the Modern Apprentice training.
“Of course, I am always proud to demonstrate the quality and appeal of our work across the Public sector, retail and lifestyle and corporate sectors, displayed in our showrooms and in our own working office environment.”
The other councillors who took part in the visit were: David Ross, council leader; Neil Crooks, chair, Kirkcaldy Area Committee; Lawrence Brown, Labour, Kirkcaldy East; Judy Hamilton, exec spokesperson for housing and building Services; Stuart MacPhail, SNP, Kirkcaldy Central; Marie Penman, Independent, Kirkcaldy East, and Peter George, Labour, Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy.