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Bridge of Weir, News 2010, December 1st, BoW donates hides to Jamie Oliver's restaurant Fifteen London
1st December 2010

Bridge of Weir Leather Company (BoW), part of Scottish Leather Group, manufacturers of technically advanced upholstery leather, has donated hides from their Grampian range in Stone Grey for use on the banquette seating in the refurbishment of Fifteen London.

Fifteen London, founded by Jamie Oliver in 2002, is a restaurant that uses the magic of food to give unemployed young people a chance to have a better future. All its profits go to their registered charity, the Jamie Oliver Foundation, which funds its pioneering Apprentice Programme.

The concept of the refurbishment, designed by Black Sheep, was to reconnect the interior to the history of the building whilst maintaining its contemporary and urban feel. A palette of rich auburn, chestnut, and stone was used with the earthy tones emulated in leather screens and leather door handle & rail coverings, also supplied by Bridge of Weir.

Bridge of Weir sales manager, Paul Weston commented,
"We're delighted to have supported Fifteen London in their recent restaurant refurbishment. The Jamie Oliver Foundation is a unique charity that does fantastic work for unemployed young people across the country. Bridge of Weir Leather is proud to assist them in their mission."

A spokeswoman from The Jamie Oliver Foundation comments,
"As we've reached our eighth anniversary we realised it was time to refresh our most important asset - that is our flagship restaurant, Fifteen London. It was through the kind donation of companies such as Bridge of Weir that we were able to achieve such a fantastic look for our restaurant. We are hugely grateful for their support of both our refurbishment project and charity."


Bridge of Weir, News 2010, 5th November, BoW appoints David Bird as quality director and Simon Cook as technical director
5th November 2010

Bridge of Weir Leather Company, a subsidiary of Scottish Leather Group who specialise in high performance leather for the automotive industry, has appointed David Bird as quality director and Simon Cook as technical director. Bird has also been appointed to the board for one of the Groups tanneries, NCT Leather.

With international industry experience spanning over 30 years, David Bird has been handling environmental, quality and health and safety issues at Bridge of Weir Leather for the past decade. In September of this year he was made a Fellow of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists. His appointment to join the boards of both Bridge of Weir Leather and NCT Leather is testament to his many career achievements.

David Bird comments: "Bridge of Weir has a track record in innovation that has made us leaders in the field of automotive leather upholstery and it is a pleasure to be invited onto the Board of Directors. NCT Leather and Bridge of Weir Leather continue to lead the way in sustainable leather manufacturing."

Simon Cook began his career in tanning aged 16 as an apprentice for Pittards plc in 1989. After qualifying as a Leather Technologist from University of Northampton, (formerly Nene College), Simon joined Eagle Ottawa LLC Europe in 2000 after 11 years at Pittards. Since joining Bridge of Weir as a leather technologist in 2006, Simon has been highly involved in new customer development and promoted steadily, resulting in an invitation to join the Board of Directors as technical director earlier this month.

Speaking of his appointment Simon Cook said: "I am delighted to be taking up this new challenge as technical director. We are continually looking at technical advancements which will keep us ahead of the competition and will allow our customers to use some of the best leathers in the world."


Bridge of Weir, News 2010, 29th September, New Lectra cutting machine  
29th September 2010

As Europe's largest leather production facility, Bridge of Weir Leather Company is set to increase their production capabilities and continue to reduce their carbon footprint with a significant financial investment in advanced specialised cutting technology.

The plant’s new Lectra CLS auto is a tooling free cutting system that maximizes the cutting yield on each hide. With a multi-zone conveyor, 4 hides are processed simultaneously in an automatic continuous workflow, which leads to increased throughput and a consistent productivity level whilst reducing waste.

Alan Sheehan, leather cutting manager at Bridge of Weir, comments “Today, companies in the automotive industry are faced with extremely high customer expectations. The need for high precision and flexibility in an increasingly fast turnaround production environment is now essential. The Lectra develops highly customised solutions for maintaining quality control at every stage.”

This addition to Bridge of Weir’s service offering is the latest achievement in a company where exceptional craftsmanship, advanced manufacturing techniques and a commitment to sustainability are paramount. The result is the finest quality upholstery leather, exported to over 30 countries worldwide.


Bridge of Weir, News 2010, 25th September, Jo Faulkner winner from Glasgow School of Art  
25th September 2010

Bridge of Weir Leather Company, attended 100% Design again this year at stand K98.

In addition to the display of luxurious leather from their extensive product range, Bridge of Weir featured work by talented students from Glasgow School of Art.

The winner of the Glasgow School of Art project, which was also supported by the Incorporation of Skinners who donated a £500 prize, was on hand to talk about her work for the project entitled “Leatherlicious”. Jo Faulkner, a third year textiles student, was challenged to create an economically efficient and innovative new product from leather, making it a “must-have “object.


Bridge of Weir, News 2010, 19th September, Aston Martin Owners Club at Bridge of Weir  
19th September 2010

Bridge of Weir Leather Company (BoW) welcomed the Aston Martin Owners Club (AMOC) to their site on Saturday, 18th September.

Bridge of Weir Leather has enjoyed a special relationship with Aston Martin that spans decades; providing the highly specified leather interiors that are integral to the marque’s reputation for luxurious high performance vehicles.

As part of AMOC’s 75th Anniversary Northern Tour, the Club paid a visit to Bridge of Weir’s leather manufacturing plant and hosted a spectacular exhibit of Aston Martin models dating back to the 1930’s including a 1934 Ulster, one of only four 2/4 seat Ulsters ever made. Transferred into the care of The Aston Martin Heritage Trust in 1998, the 1495 cc engined tourer is kept in top working order and was a highlight of the exhibition celebrating 90 years of Aston Martin heritage.

Bridge of Weir Leather managing director Iain McFadyen, commented “This visit is a testament to the long standing and successful relationship between Aston Martin and Bridge of Weir Leather. Aston Martin is a name synonymous with style, quality and durability. Bridge of Weir is proud to supply their leather and share a little part of their remarkable history."


Bridge of Weir, News 2010, 4th August, Prize winners from Glasgow School of Art

4th August 2010

Three lucky third year students from the textiles course at Glasgow School of Art have again benefitted from collaboration between The Incorporation of Skinners, The School of Art and Bridge of Weir Leather Company.

The project, titled "Leatherlicious" invites students to design an article made from leather donated by Bridge of Weir and was judged by the company's design consultant Susan Ross and chairman of the Scottish Leather Group, Jonathan Muirhead.

In addition to the generous prize money of £1000 donated by the Incorporation of Skinners (1st prize £500, 2nd,£300 and 3rd £200) the winner of the first prize also receives five days work experience with Bridge of Weir and a visit to London to attend the exclusive 100% Design exhibition.

The prizes were presented to the winners by the Deacon of The Incorporation of Skinners Malcolm Day.

The work of all three prize winners will be displayed on the Bridge of Weir Leather Company stand at 100% Design in September.


Bridge of Weir, News 2010, 15th July, The Princess Royal opens Thermal Energy plant

15th July 2010

On the 15 July, 2010, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, visited Scottish Leather Group Limited, of which Bridge of Weir Leather is a subsidiary, and officially opened its unique £6m Thermal Energy Plant (TEP)based at its manufacturing site outside Glasgow. This is a world first in the industry, as the Group continues to lead the way in sustainable low carbon leather manufacturing.

The Princess was shown around the fully-commissioned TEP which will use the 30,000 tonnes of waste generated by the Group’s subsidiaries to generate approximately 45m kW per year. The power will be used to run the Group’s plant, tannery and factory in Bridge of Weir.

Bridge of Weir Leather, which employs around 300 people, specialises in providing leather for the premium automotive and contract furniture sectors. The vertically integrated structure, allows the leather to be made to customer specifications, which takes into consideration supplier’s ‘green credentials’.

Eight new jobs have been created in SLG Technology Limited, which will operate the plant.

Jonathan Muirhead, chairman Scottish Leather Group, commented: “Quite simply, this new plant, which has been 10 years in the planning, will allow us to make leather without costing the earth. The process will take waste from our subsidiaries, which previously went to landfill, and turn it into heat and steam, which the factory needs for drying leather and heating water. It will also produce oil from the skin grease, which will be used as fuel and the final waste product, a mineral ash, will be sold on to the construction industry.”

The continuous investment in technical innovation throughout the Group has moved their manufacturing process from a craft based operation to a technology driven enterprise with their own manufacturing IP.

Muirhead concluded: “The Government guidelines on waste and landfill are quite clear and there is no point in companies ignoring legislation until it is forced, these issues are not going to go away and we took the decision some time ago to tackle this head on.”

This is the latest ground breaking development for the Scottish Leather Group, which launched a joint venture in September last year, manufacturing leather in China for their growing automotive industry business.


Bridge of Weir, News 2010, 18th May, Low Carbon leather  
18th May 2010

Product: High performance leather by Bridge of Weir Leather Company

Bridge of Weir Leather Company, part of Scottish Leather Group, specialises in manufacturing high quality leather for seating, interiors, and luxury goods. The company makes technically advanced leather now bearing the branding of ‘Low Carbon Leather’.

Jamie Davidson, sales director said:
“It is becoming more of a requirement for manufacturers to reduce their carbon footprint and we are delighted to be a part of such a dynamic Group who are innovative and invest in technology to allow us to make the lowest carbon leather in the world.

“We are making leather that contributes to our customers’ environmental plans which enables them to include our low carbon leather in their overall calculations.”

Over the last five years, Bridge of Weir Leather has reduced their carbon footprint year on year and has received a Carbon Trust Efficiency Award for their efforts.

In recognition of their continued efforts in leather manufacturing, Bridge of Weir Leather has won European Tannery of the Year at an awards ceremony in Hong Kong.

In addition to the 91 colours in stock, Bridge of Weir also offers bespoke leathers in colour, texture and finish.


Bridge of Weir, News 2010, 26th April, Tannery of the Year and Zibow China

26th April 2010

Last year, Bridge of Weir Leather Company, part of Scottish Leather Group, launched Zibow, a joint venture in China, as demand for their hides continued to increase.

$3 million (US) was invested in state-of-the-art automotive leather finishing, testing & cutting facilities, which is capable of manufacturing 5000-6000 hides a week.

Volvo is still the main customer at Zibow and as Geely Automobile, a Chinese based company, has bought over Volvo, it is expected that there will be an increase in manufacturing.

Meanwhile Bridge of Weir Leather has just won European Tannery of the Year.


Bridge of Weir, News 2010, 28th January, 2010 colour Trends book. Detail of green BoW leather

28th January 2010

Bridge of Weir Leather Company, which specialises in high quality leather for seating, interiors, and luxury goods, has completed the 2010 colour trends book, which was presented to a range of customers before the New Year.

Colours and trends of leathers are often determined by fashion, so Bridge of Weir Leather Company makes it their business to know what’s going to be coming out next season. Colours, textures, shapes and new innovations for cutting and putting a piece together are all important. A dedicated team of experts work in partnership with customers to build products that meet customers’ specific needs, including bespoke colour matching and customised leather finishes.

Susan Ross, Bridge of Weir’s design consultant comments:
“Obviously the economy has been an important factor influencing design trends in the last year, with designers being more creative with their budgets.

The first trend is a move away from excess decoration, resulting in a clean and minimal design philosophy. It is a fresh start and a new beginning after periods of over opulence and extravagance.

The next response is for an interior 'Comfort Zone', where there is a need to get away from the fast moving cyber world we live in and a need for a quiet space that is personal and private, a place that shuts out the outside world.

Tactile materials like wool, velvet and leather, handmade and crafted to create understated luxury with eco-credentials. “Leather needs to be as natural as possible with aniline finishes; very soft and smooth with natural polished vintage effects, plus full volume heavy weight anilines on 'Fat Furniture'. As well as natural medium grains with super soft touch finishes.

Design is also becoming very serious with the trend towards 'Craftsmanship' continuing with references from the Bauhaus. The emphasis is on honesty and awareness of resources, meaningful design that is modest and understated.

Materials play a very important part in this design trend, with craftsmen working in conjunction with industry and industrial design looking sideways towards arts and crafts."

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