More than 100 new jobs will be created at Falkirk-based bus maker Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) thanks to Scotland’s largest ever research and development (R&D) grant.
The firm will receive £7.3 million from Scottish Enterprise (SE) to speed up its £31 million low carbon vehicles programme, creating 101 new jobs and securing 126 existing jobs.
The R&D project aims to take advantage of the growing global demand for hybrid and electric buses and is fundamental to the company’s plans to double turnover by 2020 through new product development for UK & international markets.
In June, Alexander Dennis said it enjoyed a 20% increase in sales to £602 million and a £10 million increase in profit before tax to £23 million in the financial year to December 31, 2015, boosted by a strong international performance.
“Alexander Dennis is one of the world’s leading bus and coach builders and a true Scottish success story,” said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who visited the firm on Monday.
“The project is integral to ADL’s growth and export strategy to capture more of the increasing global demand for environmentally friendly buses.
“ADL’s continued commitment to invest in Scotland is testament to the skilled workforce here in Falkirk.
“We’ll continue to work with manufacturers like ADL to innovate and expand and we’ll set out further measures to grow the Scottish economy later this week.”
Colin Robertson, CEO of Alexander Dennis Limited, said: “We are delighted that Scottish Enterprise supports us in our aim of developing low and zero emission buses for the global market.
“We look forward to local authorities and cities around the UK as well as abroad seizing the opportunity to introduce these next generation vehicles which bring massive benefits to passengers, city dwellers and the environment.
“This investment in new product development enables companies like our own to stay at the forefront of industry at home and overseas and will help us achieve our strategic goal of a £1 billion turnover by 2020.”
Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise said: “Scottish businesses like ADL have been making great strides in R&D in recent years and more and more international investors are now choosing Scotland as their innovation location of choice, thanks to our great business environment, strong skills base, effective support network and academic excellence.
“As a result, Scotland has had a record year of innovation investment, with our businesses equipped to target more international markets than ever before.”