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Forres firm to expand workforce

By Lorna Thompson

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A FORRES-BASED solar energy manufacturer is to create new jobs after securing investment cash.

AES Solar has landed up to £196,700 investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to support its expansion.

The firm plans to extend its workshop and add plant and equipment to increase its manufacturing and design capacity. The company will also revamp its sales and marketing strategy in a bid to increase market share.

The project is expected to boost the company’s workforce from 14 to 19, increase international sales by up to £157,000 and turnover by more than £1 million.

The new posts include a technical engineer, marketing manager and sales manager. There will also be a placement for a marketing graduate.

Founded 40 years ago, AES Solar designs and manufactures solar thermal panels, as well as specialising in the installation of solar thermal and solar photovoltaic systems.

Scott McKnockiter of HIE (left), with George Goudsmit of AES Solar.
Scott McKnockiter of HIE (left), with George Goudsmit of AES Solar.

Scott McKnockiter, business development account manager with HIE, said: "Demand for renewable energy solutions, such as those produced by AES, is expected to increase exponentially as we move towards a carbon neutral economy to counter the climate emergency.

"We very much welcome the company’s latest ambitions to increase its market share and international trade, and to strengthen its role as a local employer, and are delighted to be able to support these plans."

George Goudsmit, AES managing director, said: "We are thrilled to have secured this funding from HIE, timed perfectly as we celebrate 40 uninterrupted years in business and look ahead to the next 40. This expansion and increased workforce will allow us to continuously meet the demand of the UK’s clean energy requirements.

"We are extremely proud of our history and connection to the Moray area and the ongoing support from HIE will allow us to continue fostering local talent through graduate schemes and modern apprentices while remaining a proactive and supportive figure within the local community and economy."

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