Ross sets off on a new voyage of enterprise
A FORMER chief engineer in the Merchant Navy is providing machining services to the marine, automotive, forestry, agriculture and fish farming sectors.
Ross Weir set up Lock 3 Engineering, based in Ardrishaig, with support from Business Gateway Argyll and Bute, after leaving the merchant navy to spend more time with his young family.
The engineering machine shop provides repair and remanufacturing capability throughout Argyll and Bute to customers from various industries.
Ross said: ‘I actually began my apprenticeship as a machinist before joining the merchant navy, working as a junior engineer on vessels from oil tankers to super yachts.
‘Over the years I worked my way up to chief engineer, but I never lost interest in machining and, while at sea, I would often carry out the machining work.
‘Around two years ago I decided that I wanted to leave the merchant navy as the constant travelling and working away meant I was missing out on quality time with my family.
‘When I came home I realised that most of the old machinists had retired and there was a gap in the market for an old-style machine shop.
‘Due to the rural nature of where we live, I felt there was a real opportunity to set up what could become a profitable business.
‘Business Gateway’s support and workshops were very helpful and gave me the knowledge and information I needed to set up Lock 3 Engineering properly.
‘Over the past year I’ve also gained advice on marketing and how to take on a modern apprentice, which is something I hope to do in the near future.’
So far Ross is delighted with the response his business has had since officially launching last spring. His aim for the rest of this year is to continue to grow his customer base and secure more work in the wind and hydro turbine sector.
Ross added: ‘The response I’ve had has been very positive and I’m meeting lots of people who need our services.
But I also think, from speaking to individuals and companies, that there may be a need for larger, general engineering services and, with my experience in heavy engineering and power generation, I’m thinking of eventually heading in this direction. But for the short term my aim is to take on an apprentice through the modern apprenticeship scheme and make sure my name and our reputation is well known in the area.’
Business Gateway adviser Barbara Halliday said: ‘Ross is using his 28 years of experience to offer a service that was lacking in this area for a while.
‘With our one-to- one support and by attending our fully-funded workshops, Ross has ensured he is in the best position to develop and grow Lock 3 Engineering into a thriving business.’
To find out more about how Business Gateway can help you set up and develop your own business, visit bgateway.com/argyll-and-bute or call 01546 808363.