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Mabbett eyes whisky and space opportunities for new office in Forres

l-r Willie Park, building and business development manager, Key Facilities Management, Kenny Shand, senior planning consultant, Mabbett, and Derek McNab, managing director, Mabbett.
l-r Willie Park, building and business development manager, Key Facilities Management, Kenny Shand, senior planning consultant, Mabbett, and Derek McNab, managing director, Mabbett.

Fast-growing Mabbett & Associates has opened an office in Forres as it targets new work in the whisky-making and space sectors.

It comes just a few months after the Glasgow-based planning, design, environmental, engineering and safety services company acquired Inverness business GH Johnston (GHJ) Building Consultants for an undisclosed sum.

Mabbett also recently purchased the assets of another Inverness firm, ecology, environmental management and planning services consultancy Nevis Environmental.

The group now employs 87 people across operations in Glasgow, Belfast, Carlisle, Cardiff, Dublin, Dundee, Forres Inverness, Leicester, Liverpool and Rosyth.

Its initial three-strong team in Forres is expected to swell to about 10 before long.

Gary Johnston, left, of GHJ, and Mabbett & Associates’ boss Derek McNab sign takeover formalities earlier this year.

Mabbett said its new office in the Horizon Scotland Business and Innovation Centre would serve as a strategically important geographic “hub” in the heart of Speyside.

The company is eyeing potential opportunities with local distillers and the area’s nascent space industry – rocket firm Orbex is also based in Forres – besides its more traditional sectors.

In addition, the firm hopes to use its Forres base as a launchpad for business growth in Aberdeenshire.

‘Exciting’ opportunities in space

Kenny Shand, senior planning consultant, Mabbett, said: “On the back of the recent GHJ acquisition and Nevis Environmental assets acquisition, our expansion into Moray will allow us to better serve existing and new clients in key Mabbett sectors

“Our presence on Speyside also better positions us to service our growing roster of clients in the distilling sector, while there are exciting opportunities for us in the region’s space sector too.”

Mabbett managing director Derek McNab said: “I look forward to working alongside Kenny, Jonathon Brown, Darren Graham and their teams to develop our client base and expand at this new regional hub.”

The Horizon Scotland centre is owned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and run by Perthshire company Key Facilities Management (KFM).

Willie Park, building and business development manager, KFM, said Mabbett was a welcome addition to the site.

He added: “We very much hope they enjoy the first-class flexible meeting and conferencing spaces within the building and the wider facilities elsewhere on Forres Enterprise Park.

“We look forward to supporting their further growth in the region.”

Mabbett’s energy efficiency work at Edinburgh Zoo started with a successful trial on the award-winning Budongo Trail, one of the world’s most innovative and interactive chimpanzee enclosures.

Mabbett – founded in 1996 – has worked on projects including the design of new headquarters for property developer Upland Developments in Inverness and the development of new energy-efficient heating control systems at Edinburgh Zoo.

Its recent swoop for GHJ came on the back of a year of double-digit growth, with the group recruiting 20 new staff for positions across the UK.

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