End of the line?

Kilsyth's 'revolving blackboard' firm goes into receivership

A LONG-established Kilsyth firm has gone into receivership.

Wilson & Garden Ltd, writing board manufacturers based at Newtown Street, has cash-flow problems and these have resulted in chartered accountants Grant Thornton being brought in.

Twenty-seven of the 91 employees have been made redundant. These were mostly based at the firm's depots in England, which have been closed. A further three staff have resigned.


Ian Bell, a representative of Grant Thornton, stressed that the firm's order books were healthy and that Grant Thornton were now trading the firm and trying to attract a buyer.

"There are competitors in this field but Wilson & Garden is a long-established company and the name will attract interest," he said.

Wilson & Garden's Unique writing boards sell all over the UK and to many countries abroad. The product is familiar in many schools, other educational establishments, and other places where writing boards are required.


Councillor Francis Griffin, in whose ward the factory lies, said he was contacting North Lanarkshire Council's economic development department to see if there was any way they could assist the firm.

"Wilson & Garden are long-established and well-respected employers in Kilsyth and I would like to see them continue," she said.

Councillor Tom Barrie said he was 'shocked' to hear about the firm's difficulties.

"This is a superb firm. Willie Garden, who started its expansion after the First World War and developed the revolving blackboard, had a great inventive mind. These blackboards all had a metal plaque saying they were made in Kilsyth and they are all over the world. I hope something can be done to save the firm."

And Councillor Jean Jones said: "After all these years the firm has been in the town, we will hope for the best."

Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP Cathie Craigie said she was contacting the receivers straight away to see if she could offer any assistance to the firm, either through the Scottish Executive or Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire.

"I will do whatever I can to try to keep the firm as a going concern," she said.

Report by John McIlvean