Lockerbie based construction and manufacturing specialists Robinsons, have launched a new Architectural division as the family run business continues to expand and diversify.
The company has always offered its customers an in house design service; but now for the first time, those expert services are being opened up to the public.
The new venture is a natural progression for the firm, which already boasts divisions including their Structural Steelwork & Cladding division, Agricultural division and their Principal Contracting division.
The new Architectural division comprises of a three strong team, who all bring a wealth of skills to the table. The team will be able to assist in a wide range of Architectural and building related matters, including; obtaining planning permissions, building warrant applications, structural engineering certification, site surveys, locations and plans.
Headed up by Design Manager, Andrew Robb, he explained that "Anyone can contact us and we'll be delighted to speak to them about their planning and building application needs. We'll cover all aspects from domestic to industrial to agricultural projects."
"You don't need to buy a building from Robinsons to take advantage of our expert knowledge and that is something new which we are really excited about."
"It is a great alternative and I think people will want to engage with us. I'm very passionate about what we do and the fact that we will be able to do a good job for our customers."
"I would say that the market is very competitive in terms of design services but, the sustainability and value for money that we offer is critical."
Andrew, has been joined by Senior Technician Alistair Gowan, who has around 20 years' experience in dealing with planning applications and building warrants, covering various types of buildings. Andrew stated that Alistair has brought a "huge wealth of knowledge" to the business and there isn't much about the ins and outs of the UK planning systems that he doesn't know.
The third member of the team is Junior Technician Jordan Graham, described by Andrew as "very enthusiastic, ambitious and a quick learner." Jordan also brings the team a great deal of experience in the latest 3D building software and he is excited to be able to use the latest software within the new division to help our clients visualise their ideas and bring them to life.
Andrew himself, joined Robinsons eight months ago. "I am from a varied background," he said. "I'm a chartered project manager, having worked as a designer, building surveyor and project manager on projects for new build housing, social housing, the NHS, The Crown Estate, new build schools and criminal justice buildings. I have been involved in a huge number of projects for various client groups and I am excited to bring that wealth of experience into the team."
Referring to the decision to appoint Jordan as Junior Technician, Andrew highlighted the importance to the business - and the construction sector generally - of providing opportunities for young people to break into the industry.
"There is so much investment required in people coming into the industry in terms of training, passing on our knowledge and giving them the opportunities to become the construction industry leaders of the future. All these things are available at Robinsons, which I've been very impressed to see in the past eight months."
"One of the things we are really keen to progress is creating a school engagement programme; we are planning to go out to career days for example and really try to engage young people in the industry. We feel that it is important to give back and explain the different roles that are available in construction, the benefits, and also to ensure that we can use our passion for the industry to engage young minds and help them start their careers."
"We are also currently doing some pro bono work to create a storage solution for prams and buggies at a local baby and toddler group. It is very important for us to give back to the local community."
Emma Porteous, who manages the marketing for Robinsons, said the decision to introduce a dedicated Architectural division means that the company can now offer the "full package" of services to their clients.
"It was a natural progression," she explained. "We now work in a whole host of areas we didn't work in before. We can cover a wealth of buildings: commercial, residential, industrial, retail, agricultural."
"We're not only focused on manufacturing and construction; customers, who aren't necessarily coming to us for the full package still know that they are coming to a company that has the expert knowledge of all elements and we can cover all the bases."
Emma added that Robinsons' expansion plans currently include expanding its Lockerbie headquarters. "We've got 10 acres of designated industrial development land that we can use behind our current yard and Ryan and Jim our directors have some really exciting plans for this space."
"We'll be redeveloping the look of the area to make it more visible to customers coming in, and redeveloping the car park to make way for more visitors to our site. We're hoping to do some big open days in the summer to get the local people involved and family days where we can get local young people in to educate them on what we do and try to spark an early interest in joining our team."
"We've become an important local employer. We want to let people know what's available here, young people tend to think they need to go to a big city for all their career progression opportunities. Letting young people know they can stay here and have an amazing career right on their doorstep is very important to us and giving back to our local communities."