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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 May 2007, 08:19 GMT 09:19 UK
Former apprentice buys Weir pumps
Jim McColl
Mr McColl began his career at Weir Pumps
Hundreds of jobs have been saved after one of Scotland's richest men bought the historic engineering business where he started his career.

Jim McColl, 55, who owns Clyde Blowers, bought Glasgow-based Weir Pumps in a 100m funding package.

The deal will see the firm incorporated into a new company, Clyde Pumps Ltd, and a new factory built in Glasgow.

Mr McColl said as a result of a strong order book, the company has a healthy workload for the next two years.

The businessman was at number 10 in last month's Sunday Times Rich List for Scotland, with a fortune of 435m.

Track record

He is regarded as one of Scotland's top engineers for what he has done at Glasgow-based engineering group Clyde Blowers and he was awarded an OBE in 2001.

Mr McColl started his career as an engineering apprentice with Weir Pumps.

"I am delighted to welcome Weir Pumps (Glasgow) into our portfolio of companies," he said.

Weir Pumps
There have been attempts to secure the future of Weir Pumps

"Over two centuries, the business has demonstrated that it has an outstanding track record of designing innovative pumping solutions for customers across a wide range of industries.

"We believe that this heritage, complemented by a highly skilled workforce, will provide us with a strong platform to significantly grow both market share and profitability."

He added that a new "world-class" plant would be ready by the end of March 2009. "

Weir Group announced a year ago it would be relocating Weir Pumps out of its Cathcart site in Glasgow by mid 2009.

The unit makes custom-engineered pumps for the upstream oil and power generation markets.

Weir said it would receive around 45 million for the business, which generated revenues of 70.5m and profits of 4.2m in 2006.

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