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Strong as STEEL; There's no room for lazybones as a firm embark on a huge expansion project.

A Scottish steel company are celebrating their 60th anniversary by doubling the size of their plant.

Up to 75 jobs are expected to be added to the existing staff of 250 during the expansion at Bone Steel, which will boost turnover from pounds 20million to around pounds 30million.

Sandy Bone, managing director and son of the original founder, says the company are on their way to becoming the fourth-largest producer of fabricated steel in Britain and enhancing their position as Scotland's market leader.

He said: "This expansion means we can move into the big league and win orders which had previously been considered out of our reach."

The new business is aimed to meet the needs of the lucrative inner city construction market. An investment of pounds 3million has gone into the move.

Based in Wishaw, Lanarkshire, Bone Steel have bought a 120,000 sq ft factory unit in Netherton to handle orders which are currently too big for their existing site.

The giant Netherton units will enable Bone Steel to double capacity from the present rate of 14,000 tons a year.

Sandy added: "This is a significant development for everyone employed at Bone Steel. It is also important that Lanarkshire, which has a famous steel tradition, should make an impact in Britain's biggest market.

"The company have thrived on skills developed in Lanarkshire and I am proud that our core business still remains in the heart of the area. We will continue to work as hard as we can."

Currently, 80 per cent of the firm's work is in England.

Sandy explained: "We have been very successful in winning contracts to build major supermarkets and distribution centres.

"Thanks to our increased capacity, we will be able to tender for larger- scale projects - such as office blocks. This area of the construction industry is particularly buoyant."

Terry Currie, director of business and skills development at Lanarkshire Development Agency, welcomed the news of the expansion programme.

He said: "It is heartening to see Sandy and his team continuing to drive the business forward in a very competitive sector.

"The firm's success has been built on home-grown skills and we will continue to work with the company to help them achieve their marketing objectives."

AMONG the company's recent projects is the Asda superstore in Hamilton town centre.

They also provided the fabricated steel structures for Asda stores at Robroyston, in Glasgow, and Elgin.

Bone Steel have recently opened an office in Hammersmith, London. It is under the direction of Christopher Bone, Sandy's 27-year-old son. Another son, 24-year-old Colin, is purchasing director in Wishaw.

The Wishaw complex has a dedicated unit for a treatment that coats fabricated steel with fire- resistant paint.

This is also done at a plant in Scunthorpe, in Yorkshire, where 25 staff are employed. And this same process will be carried out at the London plant under the subsidiary name ENOB Treatments.

The company originally traded under the name Bone, Connell and Baxters and concentrated on building barges, cranes and bridges during the early years.

In World War II, the company were commissioned to build the many steel pontoons for the Mulberry Harbours. These artificial floating harbours were used by the Allied forces during the D-Day landings of 1944.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 11, 1999
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