James Aiken opens door of new £1million facility

One of Aberdeen’s most-established engineering companies has opened the doors of its new £1million premises as it embarks on a new chapter in its history.

James Aiken Engineering Solutions has been operating in the heart of Aberdeen since 1977. Specialising in precision engineering and sheet metal fabrication, the company had been working from its Wellington Street premises near Aberdeen Harbour for the last 38 years.

And now, after significantly outgrowing its harbour-based office and workshop, James Aiken has commenced a new chapter in its history after it cut the ribbon at a new £1million base in the city’s Bridge of Don.

Covering nearly 23,000 sq ft, the facility is a blend of office and workshop space and boasts a host of new benefits, including increased yard and car parking provision. More importantly, the company can now also cater for the use of overhead cranes, something that was not possible at its previous headquarters.

Due to this installation, the company can now accommodate heavier fabrication work, allowing James Aiken to be better placed to meet the ever-changing requirements of its growing client base.

The business, which is part of the Jasmine Holdings Group portfolio of companies, has also invested in a new £200,000 water-jet cutting machine. With the ability to cut through multi-materials at 200mm thick, the state-of-the-art piece of kit has increased James Aiken’s capability tenfold, alongside dramatically reducing its level of outsourcing.

James Aiken Engineering Solutions became part of the Jasmine Holdings family in 1994 when it was purchased by the late George Cowie and Neil Stewart. The new premises will be home to a growing workforce of over 30, with the company headed up by Mr Stewart and fellow directors Neil Jolly and George Paterson. Both Mr Jolly and Mr Paterson began their careers as apprentices with the business more than 35 years ago.

George Paterson, director of James Aiken Engineering Solutions, said: “James Aiken has been located on Wellington Street near Aberdeen Harbour for a number of years, but we have outgrown these premises in recent times.

“This new, dedicated facility will significantly enhance our company’s capability and really signals the beginning of an exciting new chapter for all associated with James Aiken Engineering Solutions.

“The sheet metal industry is one of the city’s longest serving sectors and there is still a growing demand for bespoke products from the oil and gas, public, construction and catering sectors for metal work and fabrication. This expansion will significantly increase our ability to meet our client’s growing and often diverse needs and will allow us to embrace new work opportunities that we simply weren’t able to before.

“The investment in the new water-jet cutting machine is also a significant part of our strategic growth plan that we have put in place for the forthcoming months and years. The past history of James Aiken is extensive and we believe that this recent development will help us build a new episode in the company’s existence.”