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Guests help celebrate doubling of factory

Almond backs school racers in expansion drive

Bryan Buchan

Bryan Buchan with two members of Team Apex

Almond Engineering in Livingston celebrated the doubling of its factory in Fleming Road by offering clients, backers, supporters and partners the opportunity to drive cars designed by pupils at a local high school.

Deans Community High made the world finals of the Formula 1 in Schools challenge in Singapore.

The company has been supporting the school’s teams in the competition which tasks teams of students to design, test, manufacture and race a scale model Formula one car.

This year, under the leadership of School teacher David Dodds, six 15-year-old pupils, calling themselves Team Apex, made the world finals and jetted off to Singapore to race their car. Jack Dunlop, Rebecca Scott, Leone Dempsey, Rachel Conway, Ewan Smith and Emma Robertson took 27th place in the world rankings.

Mr Dodds said: “The competition is a great way of bringing engineering to life for our pupils and we couldn’t do it without support from local industry. The sponsorship we have from Almond Engineering extends beyond financial assistance. We receive both valuable design expertise, advice and manufacturing capability from the company.

“A powerful combination of hard work from the pupils and the backing of Almond Engineering took our teams to the finals in Singapore this year, bringing the excitement of engineering to life and shaping our engineers of the future.”

Team ApexThe F1 cars (right)  are made from a lightweight block of material supplied by the organisers. They are propelled by compressed air reaching relative speeds of over 220mph. Almond Engineering milled the wheels and the axles to keep the cars speeding down the track, helping Team Apex refine the design throughout the competition.

Bryan Buchan, chief executive  of Scottish Engineering opened the premises by sending the first of the model F1 cars down a 12 metre race track.

Willie Scott, managing director, said: “We have always invested heavily in training. I am delighted to be celebrating a doubling of our capacity and the associated jobs in the region that comes with our expansion.”

Chris Smith, chairman, said: “Our success is not only attributed to our engineering expertise and the talented people we employ, but the support we get from our partners. These include Clydesdale Bank, West Lothian Council, Scottish Engineering and our valued clients.

“While many engineering organisations have focussed on the oil and gas sector, we have a balanced portfolio of clients across a wide range of markets, allowing us to buck the current trend associated with reliance on the oil and gas industry.”

Councillor Cathy Muldoon, depute leader of the council, said:  “West Lothian Council has enjoyed a lengthy relationship with Almond Engineering, indeed earlier this year we were able to support the company’s expansion with a £50,000 grant from the West Lothian Economic Growth Plan.”

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