Business centre approved
Hub brings watchmaking back to Scotland
Marloe Watch Company is first tenant
A new rural business hub on the banks of Loch Leven will help revive the age-old craft of watchmaking.
The Orwell Farm hub has been given the green light from Perth and Kinross Council, with Marloe Watch Company ready to occupy space in the 4,100 sq ft unit.
The watch designer will join architect Studio LBA, which has designed the new space located between Kinross and Wester Balgedie.
Marloe Watch Company was founded five years ago in Henley-On-Thames and moved its operations to Scotland this year.
The move is part of a long-term plan for the business to expand operations and bring assembly of its mechanical watches to the UK next year. The re-location will bring a host of training and apprenticeship opportunities to the local area – reviving a once thriving Scottish industry.
Orwell Farm should open for business next April
Marloe founders Oliver Goffe and Gordon Fraser have seen the company enjoy a 120% increase in revenues in the last 12 months.
Mr Goffe said: “The move to the new creative business hub will mean we have reached a goal we’ve been working to for the last five years – to bring assembly to the UK, investing in Scottish talent and the return of watch production to UK soil.
“Perth was the first choice for us – Gordon is from the area – and, as a brand with adventure at its heart, being close to the Scottish Highlands is ideal.”
Lynsay Bell, managing director at Studio LBA said: “This is an extremely exciting project for us – creating a hub for other local businesses to thrive within – a community that can all work, grow and collaborate together within this rural hub.
“The existing agricultural setting and character has been a key influence in the designs, in terms of scale, form and materials. The aim is for the development to feel rural and not to lose its historic roots.
“We always wanted to create a sustainable and environmentally conscious development, and this was really initiated at the design stage through the re-use of the existing agricultural buildings.
“Throughout construction, we are focused on minimising waste and using locally sourced materials and trades.
“It is also important that the buildings are sustainable long term, so we are integrating zero carbon technologies, ground source and PV, meaning the heating and electricity to the farm is provided wholly through renewables.”
Construction of the creative business hub is set to complete in April 2021.