A vacant property in the centre of town will re-open providing a new lease of life for a landmark building and jobs for local people.
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The former showroom and workshops which housed Pedigreed Cars at Bogton Place, has a new tenant who has moved his training business from Aberdeen.
Graeme Johnston, an engineer with 30 years’ experience, will bring his city-based business to Forres, when he is handed the keys this month.
He said: “The business was established in March 2021, previously based in Aberdeen we have now moved to Forres, although we still service the Aberdeen area and plan to expand to service the area to Inverness.
“Our aim is to provide courses required by companies who are looking to up-skill their workforce, or individuals looking to improve their skill-set for employment or maybe just looking to learn new skills as a hobbyist.
Accredited training programs
“We provide training at the customers’ site or at our training facility depending on what the requirements are and the course guidelines. These can be one-day safety courses, accredited courses or in-house certifications.
“We provide accredited training programs for schools who are looking to engage with their pupils to gain a qualification and to get them ready for work while still attending school.”
Landmark building ticked all the boxes
Graeme said he had been looking for a site that ‘ticked all the boxes’ and found the property recently acquired by Liam and Eileen Wood of Glenburgie Property.
“I have seen this site over a number of years now when visiting family here in Forres, I always thought to myself this would be a good place to have the training centre, then I saw that the building was under new ownership and looking for potential tenants.
“After making contact with Liam and having a look around the site I decided the site would be perfect for us to base the training centre and have now secured a long-term lease.
“The location is perfect for us as a business and for the learners, as there is a bus stop beside the premises for the main bus route from Inverness to Aberdeen, this will be a great advantage to our learners who don’t drive, the train station is also a ten-minute walk from the premises, for those who drive there is ample parking onsite and in the surrounding streets.
“Forres has a lot to offer us as a business to expand our courses available, with the premises and the local community having a huge potential to produce high calibre students to achieve the high standard of skillsets required in the industry.
“Working with the local schools and businesses we can achieve this and engage with the community; this will also encourage new businesses to come to the area.”
Leading Industry Training will offer a range of accredited courses in Mechanical Engineering, Welding Fabrication, NC in Mechanical Engineering and a number of one-day safety courses. These will include a variety of single units from machining, welding, maintenance, assembly, hand fitting and many more, the single units can be tailored to make up the qualifications or can be taken as single units.
Bespoke courses designed around customers’ needs can also be created and verification services are also provided. There will also be computer-based skills and tests available, and an apprenticeship program is to be introduced.
Graeme added: “We will be employing four people to start with, this will include a receptionist, Business Development Executive and two trainers/assessors, and this will increase as required.
“We plan to expand our course offerings in the future to include plumbing, joinery and electrical.”
Landlord Liam Wood said there could potentially be three or four businesses running from the location when it is fully occupied, and that having new businesses at what could be an extension of the high street will brighten the place up.
“To bring this part of Forres back up and running again will be a huge benefit to the area. We wish Graeme all the very very best of luck with his new venture and hope it’s a huge success.”