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A promising future for McLaren Packaging

Award-winning McLaren Packaging, which operates from four sites across Scotland has completed a significant investment in its manufacturing capabilities. The company has finalised a £350k investment in its Stirling-based operation Blue Box Design, which makes hand-made presentation boxes for the drinks industry. McLaren acquired Blue Box Design in 2013.

This investment follows a total investment of £1.5million across the firm’s three Port Glasgow bases between 2014 and last December when it installed 300 solar panels above its factory buildings which will help cover electricity requirements with clean energy. Other investments in the Port Glasgow sites have included extending the factory’s storage and loading capacity and further developing its multi cell division operation which makes dividers for cases of bottles. McLaren Packaging, which specialises in the design and manufacture of premium, paper-based packaging for the global drinks industry, including many of Scotland’s best known whisky producers, aims to increase its turnover from £16m currently to £20m by 2020.

Michael McLaren, sales and marketing director explains: “The investment in Blue Box Design in Stirling has created 15 new jobs to date and we’re looking to grow the workforce further. This investment included the installation of an automatic box wrapping machine, two digital cutting machines, the construction of a mezzanine floor to increase storage, office revamp and investment in state of the art LED lighting to ensure that items can be fully inspected to preserve the highest quality standards for these hand-finished products. When we acquired Blue Box Design, the firm had 20 staff – it now has 35 and sales have grown 80% since the acquisition.”

The bulk of McLaren’s 105 staff are based across three manufacturing facilities in Port Glasgow which cover a combined 150,000 square feet. The McLaren Packaging product range includes corrugate, composite tubes, solid board packing, box divisions, multi pack and rigid boxes. McLaren also produces premium food packaging and this is an area marked out by the firm for future growth.

Michael adds: “At a time when manufacturing figures in the UK show a month on month downturn, McLaren Packaging is bucking the trend by demonstrating continued growth and providing employment in manufacturing in both Port Glasgow and Stirling.”

McLaren Packaging, founded in 1979, first opened its factory in Port Glasgow in 1986 and expanded the factory in 1999. In 2007 the company bought half of the industrial estate to allow for future growth and expansion and in 2011 built a state of the art composite tube factory.

More about McLaren Packaging can be found at

6 June 2016 - Rebecca Sterritt Paragraph Publishing, content manager