Scottish Leather Group’s longest serving staff member and newest recruit mark 150 years of Lang

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Scottish Leather Group has marked 150 years of Lang, its specialist tannery business as it unveils new site in Paisley and cements commitment to growth plans across Renfrewshire.

Celebrations took place at Scottish Leather Group’s newest site in Paisley at the former Chivas Brothers factory, which the leather manufacturer agreed to take over in 2020 in a joint deal with Renfrewshire Council.

The manufacturer, which utilises the generations of expertise and craftsmanship in its Lang tannery through its leather production, has now been able to increase in scale, the services it offers and the customers it works with thanks to the new Paisley site.

Through an investment of £13m, new technology and equipment has allowed Scottish Leather Group to grow and, as it celebrates Lang’s 150-year milestone, the manufacturer explains why it remains committed to Paisley.

Robbie Brown, Chairman of Scottish Leather Group, said: “A few years ago, our Lang production moved to Bridge of Weir to bring our specialist tanning together under one roof. However, our roots remain firmly in Paisley and we are delighted that this is continued within our new facility as we look to future growth and commit to do so in the community in which Lang was born in 1872.

“Paisley and the wider Renfrewshire region has a great concentration of skills and talent and as such, it provides the ideal home for us to build on the expertise that we’ve developed in our long-standing history while innovating and increasing the services we can deliver for customers.”

To mark the occasion, Scottish Leather Group’s longest serving employee met with one of its newest recruit as the pair discussed the differences in starting in 1975 and 2021.

Alex Edgar, who is a fleshing and splitting technician at Lang, started with the business 47 years ago as his first ever job and has remained with the company ever since. Alex said: “I’ve always found great enjoyment in work – it’s been a real family to me. People tend to stay for a long time so really you watch the young staff come in and grow up within their role.

“The process has changed dramatically when I started. There is of course access to a lot more technology than there was back then. It means that a lot of the repetitive manual tasks have been automated which is great and there has been a massive reduction in heavy lifting. What remains the same however is the need for expertise – there really is no replacement for the human touch here.

“Because of the new technology we’ve been able to double the capacities we were working to back when I started and it is incredible to see how far and wide our products go. From our sites in Paisley and Bridge of Weir, our leather is used all over the world and we can say that our hand-crafted products are found within supercars, airplanes and within high-end fashion brands – that’s pretty amazing.”

One of Scottish Leather Group’s newest recruits is apprentice Adam Frame who started with the manufacturer in 2021. Adam has been working across each of Scottish Leather Groups different services since starting and will continue to support each of the teams within his two-year apprenticeship. Adam said: “My mum previously worked for Lang and completed an internship in the accounting team. She recommended the company for an apprenticeship and it has been great so far.

“Learning from the teams here, many of whom have been around for a number of years like Alex, is a fantastic opportunity and I’ve learned so much already. The company has ambitious growth plans and I’m excited to be part of that journey.”

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