Perth company flush with business despite pandemic challenges

A Perth-based family firm whose main source of summer business is supplying toilets to festivals and events has revealed that the increased demand from construction firms has allowed them to keep all their staff employed amidst the ongoing pandemic.

With increased hygiene measures introduced on construction sites to help keep Covid-19 at bay, demand for toilets and welfare facilities has risen.

Jordan Black, MD of Scotloo, told Project Plant, “When the pandemic came last year and there was to be no mass gatherings, there was great uncertainty and a very slow start to our season being in lockdown, but the increase in demand from construction sites has helped us pick up the business.”

Scotloo is one of three firms forming the Castlecroft group, alongside Keepsafe Storage Centres and Castlecroft Commercial Property. Founded by his grandfather Ian Black in 1984, Jordan began working at the group aged 16. Ten years on, he is now managing director, having replaced his grandfather in the role two years ago, with Ian taking up the position of chairman.

The firm employs 38 people in total and specialises in offering commercial office space and industrial units for businesses to operate from, with Scotloo/Scotbox providing toilet hire, site accommodation and liquid waste management – with the required plant and machinery to deliver and remove the facilities to and from sites.

Jordan’s main aim is continuous investment to grow the business. The recent surge in the need for improved hygiene measures on sites resulted in the company ordering 200 portable toilets in October, supplementing further investments made in recent years.

“We have forward investment of £2.5 million in the form of new vehicles, welfare facilities and equipment,” Jordan said. 

Jordan Black

“We’re constantly investing in new trucks and equipment to keep the standard of our kit as high as possible.

“The plan is to continue investing in new equipment where possible with the aim of running a younger, newer fleet of vehicles and plant equipment – so that we can service our customers’ needs.”

Last year, Jordan signed off a £250,000 deal for a Hiab lorry from Mac’s Truck Sales in Huddersfield. This vehicle was fitted with a Fassi F820 crane and drawbar trailer to assist in the delivery and moving of site accommodation. Jordan said this felt like a milestone at the time as this was the company’s largest vehicle investment to date. 

Just recently, the firm took delivery of a new vehicle from Whale Tankers Ltd, which joined its fleet of vacuum tankers transporting and disposing of liquid waste across Scotland. Scotloo operates one of a few privately run liquid waste treatment plants in Scotland, allowing the business to be compliant with legislation and the environmental impact of liquid waste.

Although there was an initial fear at the start of the pandemic over business, Jordan said he remains calm in that the facilities the company provides will allow for firms to comply with the increased safety requirements on sites with a fast and efficient service.

“All our customers are happy with the way things are going and the service we provide. We’re a good, tight-knit family orientated company and I think that shows with the team we have around us. We pride ourselves on our service as much as possible.”