Caribbean boost for Bo’ness iron foundry

Ballantine Castings Ltd at Links Road, Bo'ness.
Ballantine Castings Ltd at Links Road, Bo'ness.

A Bo’ness engineering company has received a massive boost with a project to supply 180 ornamental iron columns in the Caribbean.

Ballantine Castings will construct the 650kg ornamental iron columns to be used at marinas in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Director Gavin Ballantine explained how important this contract is for the Links Road-based company.

He said: “It is the largest job we’ve taken on since the Albert Bridge refurbishment in Glasgow. The overall project is a multi-million pound construction project.

“It will be the largest architectural export job undertaken by a Scottish foundry for a generation at least, probably since we did the Royal Palaces in Jeddah.

“The columns are for a building project for lots and lots of marina buildings – housing, restaurants, shops, everything. It’s a full construction project.

“The 180 columns will be split over five buildings, 36 columns per building.

“Work started yesterday. It’s going to be all hands on deck for the next three months. So by the middle of November they will be on their way sunnier climes.”

The iron foundry has enjoyed a successful year, starting and ending with two big projects in London.

Speaking about this latest contract for the Caribbean, Gavin said: “It makes our existing guys busier and creates two new jobs for now. There could be more.

“We are delighted to have secured this contract. It’s very rare for something like this to come around to be honest.

“We have been busy working on Big Ben for the last seven or eight months and our work there has just finished.

“So this couldn’t have come at a better time.

“After this contract we have a big park in London to look forward to as well.

“It’s been a very good 2019 so far. It’s heading towards our best year ever, but in this game you are never too sure how it will go.”

Ballantine Castings has been operating in Bo’ness since 1820, trading under its current name for the past five years. The company currently employs 52 members of staff.