New gluten free facilities, Edinburgh, Scotland

CLIENT: Nairn’s Oatcakes Ltd.

DATE: 2016    VALUE: £6.5M

Nairn’s are synonymous with oatcakes, their rich heritage dating back to 1896, producing wholesome, traditional oatcakes from superior quality oats grown in the Scottish Borders. Recent years have seen a surge in demand for coeliac-friendly products and although oats are naturally gluten-free, the production at their existing site had reached a ceiling, with limited scope for growth. The investment in larger-scale premises and plant were necessary to increase capacity of their gluten-free manufacturing facilities and help to maintain competitive cost profile, associated with greater automation, to secure and develop the long-term future of Nairn’s.

Atom Consultants provided their expertise on the installation of the new gluten free production facility, drawing on our in-depth expertise of in-factory food production line expertise.

Atom Consultants have been working in close collaboration with Nairn’s for the past 20 years, having designed their previous manufacturing facilities, which they now clearly had outgrown.

We commenced the project by creating a notional scheme of the new factory, to allow Nairn’s to understand the size of the production unit they would need, while considering the future business expansion plans. Finding a new unit of adequate size proved to be a challenge. Eventually suitable premises were found, which were slightly larger than their actual needs, but ideal size-wise- about 55,000 sg.ft.

Atom advised Nairn’s on several aspects of the project. We conducted a Dilapidation Survey of the Building prior to purchase and helped the client with the negotiations of the purchase of the industrial building. After the purchase we applied for the building warrant, designed the internal layouts, provided a cost analysis for the various elements of the works and took care of all the usual elements of a Food Factory Design, such as M& E Engineering, Food Safe Paneling and Flooring, Demolition and Dismantling, Drainage and Remapping of the internal layouts. We were also asked to improve on the infrastructure elements of the building, which was just an empty industrial shell at the point of purchase. Electricity and gas supply were remapped and upgraded to meet the latest standards. The roof was totally renewed. All works were minutely timed to meet the deadline of the new production line installation in co-ordination with the Dutch and Austrian equipment suppliers. We then carried out all the service corrections and during the handover and commissioning period obtained all the building control and completion certificates and agreed the final accounts as the contract administrators for the works.

A previous brown-field site was developed into a brand new BRC Compliant gluten-free production facility for Nairn’s gluten-free biscuits and oatcakes, obtaining a top rating during their first BRC audit in 2017. The spend matched the budget and the project was delivered on time helping to meet extremely tight deadlines.

Recent years have seen an almost exponential growth for Nairn’s following the investment into the new gluten-free facilities. bringing their turnover close to £22,13 M.




Nairn's Oatckaes gluten free factory in Scotland
Drone photo of Nairn's Oatcakes factory in Edinburgh
Nairn's Oatcakes Factory