Clydeleather Crop
Case Studies

Tannery invests for growth

Innovation and investment have helped family-run business Clyde Leather to survive and thrive for three generations and counting.

About the business

Investing a seven-figure sum in machinery in 2018 allowed Clyde Leather to increase capacity to keep up with demand. Customers of the Neilston tannery include brands like New Balance UK and Zatchel, and clients from various leather manufacturing sectors.

Richard Harris, grandson of founder Walter Bevan Harris, runs the business today. Clyde Leather employs 30 people and each week produces around 40,000 sq ft of bespoke, high quality leather and suede, mainly for the domestic market.

Having our adviser’s expertise, fresh eyes, ideas and knowledge has been fantastic and we’re now working on marketing plans that will help us target a global market.

How Business Gateway has helped

Richard turned to Business Gateway East Renfrewshire for support to grow the business. His adviser first arranged for him to attend an international strategy workshop. Next came a workplace innovation organisational review, to help improve the company’s people structures.

“The company was growing but we weren’t growing strategically,” explains Richard. “The first thing Karine Burns of Business Gateway did was advise us on different types of practices. She also recommended training courses, including leadership and training for managers, which has really helped to empower us as a workforce.”

Clyde Leather also secured a Growth Company Development Fund grant from the council to buy a new dyeing drum from Italy. Business Gateway is now working with Richard to build an investor-ready business plan, with support from Scottish Enterprise.

Business Gateway support

One-to-one support

Strategic advice

Workplace review

What’s next?

“We’re very proud to have been going for over 60 years and keeping it in the family the whole time,” says Richard. “We’re hopeful that our product will allow us to retain and secure other top brands and new customers.

“By taking on the advice and assistance of Business Gateway, we’ll take the company to a new level that will ultimately lead to further growth.”

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